England drop Jofra Archer for second Test against West Indies
Pace bowler Jofra Archer has been dropped by England for the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford after breaching the team's bio secure protocols.
The news has come just a few hours before the commencement of the second Test, wherein, England will welcome Joe Root back into the team.
Archer, on his part, is now set be in self-isolation for five days during which, he will undergo two virus tests. He will only be cleared if he tests negative on both occasions.
Both teams have been living in secure "bubble" sites at the Ageas Bowl, the venue for last week's first Test, and Old Trafford, where the final two matches of the series will take place, in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.
Archer, however, admitted he broke the strict health regulations and was removed from the squad for the second Test after playing in last week's opener.
"I am extremely sorry for what I have done," Archer said. "I have put, not only myself, but the whole team and management in danger. I fully accept the consequences of my actions, and I want to sincerely apologise to everyone in the bio-secure bubble.
"It deeply pains me to be missing the Test match, especially with the series poised. I feel like I have let both teams down, and again I am sorry."
It is understood Archer's breach of the rules took place sometime after Sunday's end of the first Test at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl and before the squad arrived at Old Trafford.
An ECB spokesman could not confirm if Archer would face further disciplinary action in addition to missing the second Test.
But the breach is likely to provoke an angry response from officials at Lord's after they made strenuous efforts to persuade both the West Indies and Pakistan to tour England this season against the backdrop of more than 44,000 deaths in Britain during the pandemic.
Archer was expected to be one of England's key bowlers for the second Test given that the likes of James Anderson and Mark Wood were given a rest. The Barbados born pacer went wicketless in the first innings of the Southampton Test, but picked three in the second innings as England lost the game by four wickets.
England have not called up a replacement into their second Test squad for Archer, who burst on the international scene last year when he bowled the decisive Super Over in the team's World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord's. His absence, however, deprives England of genuine speed, with the 25-year-old having hit the 90 mph mark during a return of 3-45 in the second innings at Southampton.
Feature image courtesy; AFP / Mike Hewitt