‘I’m very confident we’ll get him back, and get him back as we’ve seen Jofra in the past,’ Giles says
Ashley Giles, the ECB’s director of men’s cricket, says that England are prepared to play the long game when it comes to Jofra Archer’s fitness, after the bowler himself indicated in a newspaper column that he is prepared to write off the home summer in a bid to recover fully from his recent elbow operation.
And having stated that his personal goals were England’s twin peaks of the T20 World Cup, in October and November, closely followed by the Ashes in Australia in December and January, Archer warned that he would be “quite prepared” to miss the five-Test series against India, beginning at Trent Bridge on August 4, if it meant he would be better placed to prolong his career across all three formats.
Asked if England were already planning for a summer without Archer in their ranks, Giles – speaking at the launch of IG as the new official partner of England Cricket – admitted that they would have to be “conservative” as he works his way back towards full fitness. However, he believed it was too soon to dismiss the prospect of him playing any part in the series.
“Not yet,” Giles said. “I’ve talked a lot about our objectives in the T20 World Cup and the Ashes and we need to make sure he is best prepared for that. If it went swimmingly, we may see him earlier but we’re not going to put any deadlines on it.”
“I’m very confident we’ll get him back, and get him back as we’ve seen Jofra in the past,” Giles added. “The surgery went well and if he recovers in the right amount of time, he’ll be relieved, almost, that the shackles are off and he can come back and do what he loves doing.”
Aside from confirming that Archer had undergone a procedure and that he would be assessed in four weeks’ time, the ECB has released limited details about the exact nature of Archer’s elbow problem. Giles, however, was confident that the operation had gone “very well”, but reiterated that he was not qualified to comment on the medical aspects of his treatment.
“All of these injuries carry a certain amount of risk, that’s why we look at all the conservative options first before you head into surgery,” Giles said. “But I’m very confident with the medical team we have and the surgery he’s had, which has gone very well, that Jof will be back and firing.
“Any of us who’ve had surgeries of those sorts in the past, they definitely make you edgy and nervous. But we’re definitely confident he’ll be back and ready to go at some point later in the year.
“Every player is different. I think the thing that has been holding Jofra back is that he’s had two different injuries in that elbow and it stops him doing what he does incredibly well – which is bowl quick. That must be frustrating for him. But the most important thing is that we look after and care for his injury and him. So his well-being is very important.”
Asked if the ECB would support the notion of Archer returning to his home island of Barbados during his rehabilitation process, Giles said that the board could be open to such a proposal if it fitted with the timeframes for his recovery.
“The world is ever-changing and that’s something we have to consider,” he said. “If there was an opportunity to go back at some point [to Barbados], perhaps we should support it. But the most important thing for him and us is to make sure he has the right care and rehabilitation on that elbow.”
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket
Recent Match Report – Invincibles vs Supercharger 13th Match 2021
Lynn makes run-a-ball 48, and Roy bats through for 53 not out, in low-scoring dogfight
Northern Superchargers 128 for 4 (Lynn 48, Brook 47*) beat Oval Invincibles 127 for 6 (Roy 52*, Curran 34*, Rashid 3-13) by six wickets
Brook no argument
Brook was knocked off top spot in the Blast’s run charts in the final rounds of the group stage and looks determined to ensure the same fate will not await in the Hundred. He played crucial hands to keep their first two games – against Welsh Fire and Trent Rockets – alive, and at the third time of asking, dragged them home with the night’s most fluent innings, a cool-headed 47 not out off 30 balls.
He was circumspect against Sunil Narine, rightly recognising him as the Invincibles’ main threat, but was confident in taking down Curran and Tabraiz Shamsi. He scored runs all around the ground, sweeping firmly but also hitting down the ground, through point and through extra cover, and batted with immense control to keep the required rate in check throughout.
“There wasn’t many runs on the board so me and Lynny were just trying to knock it round and take the dangerman out of it,” he said. “It’s nice to win, especially in front of a home crowd with a few Yorkshire lads playing. I’ve said a lot of times I want to be a match-winner and that’s a good example of it there.”
It is a sign of England’s white-ball depth that Brook – described by Mark Butcher as a “beefed up, modern version of Joe Root” – did not make their second-string ODI squad earlier this month. Given his control and range of shots against both pace and spin, he is certain to win wider recognition – either internationally or in franchise tournaments – before long.
Invincibles’ slow start … and middle
Invincibles opted to bat on the assumption that the pitch would only get slower, but they eked out only 18 Powerplay runs, the fewest in the men’s competition to date. The openers managed six between them before Will Jacks nicked Brydon Carse behind, and pinch-hitter Narine’s leg-side thrash off Matty Potts was the only boundary in the first 25 balls as the Superchargers’ seamers kept their lines tight to cramp the top order for room.
Narine came up against his biggest weakness – back-of-a-length high pace with no width – but managed to get two further blows away when the fielding restrictions lifted, twice slapping Carse over the leg side before holing out off Mujeeb Ur Rahman for a useful cameo of 22 from 11 balls. The value of Narine’s innings became increasingly clear as the innings wore on: between the 33rd ball (Narine’s dismissal) and the 79th, the Invincibles failed to hit a single boundary as the spinners took over.
Rashid had Colin Ingram caught on the cover boundary, Potts bowled Sam Billings as he backed away to cut, and Rashid struck in consecutive balls when Laurie Evans picked out deep midwicket and Dane Vilas held onto a blinding slip catch to remove Jordan Clark. With Tabraiz Shamsi, a genuine tailender, carded at No. 9, Curran was forced to consolidate alongside the scratchy Roy, who repeatedly stared at the pitch in disbelief after balls stuck in the surface.
The Roy-Curran show
At 72 for 6 off 78 balls, the Invincibles were deep in the mire, but some lusty late-innings hitting dragged them up towards a par score. Roy evoked the innings played by Alex Hales – his long-time England opening partner – in the Superchargers’ last completed game, gritting out 25 from his first 34 balls before slog-sweeping Mujeeb over the leg side, while Curran hit consecutive boundaries through midwicket before a sumptuous, checked straight drive flew down the ground for six.
David Willey missed his length at the death, hitting the slot with each of the innings’ final three balls and was thumped for six, six and four as Roy cut loose at the last. The final boundary brought up his half-century, a hard grind that took 43 balls, and the unbroken 67-run stand in 42 balls for the seventh wicket helped them towards something they thought they could defend.
While the Hundred’s double-header structure this year has done great things for the women’s game in terms of greater crowds and exposure, an unintended consequence has been a number of slow-burning men’s matches on slow, used pitches. This was no different, with neither side able to hit boundaries regularly.
Lynn was particularly slow-burning, top-edging a six off Saqib Mahmood when Billings opted to reward his early dismissal of Willey with a second consecutive set of five balls but otherwise struggling to find the rope. He eventually holed out to Evans at wide long-off, opting to attack the final ball of Narine’s spell, leaving a tricky equation of 31 off 20 balls.
But the Invincibles struggled to cope with the greasy outfield as the chase wore on, a result of the rain earlier in the day, and were sloppy in the deep to help the Superchargers turn several ones into twos. Mahmood’s nightmarish drop of Simpson with 26 needed off 15 was particularly criminal, not least when Simpson sliced Curran for four through third man and then slogged him down the ground for six to seal the win, standing open-armed in celebration as the Superchargers completed their first win.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
Recent Match Report – Supercharger vs Invincibles 13th Match 2021
Allrounder anchors innings before contributing to tigerish defence of low total
Northern Superchargers 109 for 8 (Davidson-Richards 42) beat Oval Invincibles 105 for 4 by four runs
Their 109 for 8 looked below par despite a sluggish pitch, with Davidson-Richards top-scoring with 42 off 30 balls having been inserted.
She was then brilliant in returning 2 for 17 from 20 balls with her pace-off seamers, defending 10 off the last five as the visitors finished on 105 for 4.
A bowler-dominated game went the hosts’ way as they made it three wins from four and consigned the Invincibles to their first defeat in three.
The Invincibles only really fell behind during the second half of their chase, and Mady Villiers failed to hit the last ball for six as the Superchargers went top of the table.
The more recognised offspin of Villiers and seam of Grace Gibbs and Tash Farrant also contributed two wickets apiece for the Invincibles.
The Superchargers slipped to 78 for 6 after 75 balls, though Davidson-Richards recovered with five fours.There were no wides or no-balls bowled by the Invincibles.
South African Laura Wolvaardt made 27 off 26 balls, sharing 38 for the third wicket with Davidson-Richards as they advanced from 28 for 2 after 30. Capsey had Wolvaardt caught behind and Bess Heath caught and bowled with the 58th and 60th balls to make it 66 for 4.
The teenager then opened the batting in the reply and was dropped on two at mid-on by Heath. Superchargers got the wicket late in the powerplay when Capsey miscued a catch to backward point off Davidson-Richards’ seam for eight to make it 20 for 1 after 22 balls.
Georgia Adams hit back-to-back boundaries off Katie Levick shortly afterwards. But when she was caught at long-off against the same bowler for 26, the Superchargers had a sniff at 45 for 2 after 48.
Linsey Smith had England’s Fran Wilson caught at mid-off – 65 for 3 after 64 – and Davidson-Richards was miserly as the target became a testing 40 off 30 balls with Sarah Bryce and captain Dane van Niekerk together. That target later became 23 off 10 before van Niekerk hit Smith for three successive boundaries to swing the pendulum.
Davidson-Richards, however, had Bryce caught at long-on for an innings high 29 with the penultimate ball to delight the 6,737 crowd. Liz Russell also contributed as she conceded only 14 runs in 20 balls.
The Invincibles were missing two of their three overseas players, with Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail out with injuries.
Cricket South Africa – CSA dismisses former acting CEO Kugandrie Govender
The new board has advertised the CEO’s position, with applications due to close on July 31
Specifically, Govender was under scrutiny for the role she played in revoking the accreditation of journalists in December 2019, for breaches of the Companies’ Act, and her part in the dismissal of the former head of sales and sponsorships Clive Eksteen, whose sacking was ruled unfair. She was found guilty after a lengthy process which has lasted more than seven months.
“The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Tribunal, Advocate Terry Motau SC, imposed a sanction of immediate dismissal, having regard inter alia to the seriousness of Ms Govender’s misconduct, the breach of trust and including the fact that a continued working relationship between Ms Govender and CSA would no longer be possible,” a CSA statement read.
Since Govender’s suspension, CSA has also parted ways with former chief operating officer Naasei Appiah and former finance manager Ziyanda Nkuta after previously ending their relationship with Moroe and Eksteen. Govender’s immediate predecessor, Jacques Faul, resigned from the acting CEO role to return to his post as CEO of the Titans franchise. She was succeeded by Pholetsi Moseki, who remains CSA’s acting CEO to date.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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