World Cup-winner Jofra Archer in England squad for Ashes opener
Uncapped fast bowler Jofra Archer has been included in England’s 14-man squad announced Saturday for next week’s Ashes opener against Australia, with all-rounder Ben Stokes re-appointed as vice-captain.
The pair both enjoyed starring roles in England’s stunning World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s on July 14, with all-rounder Stokes ensuring England drew level with the Black Caps total in regulation play before Archer bowled the decisive Super Over that sealed victory.
Archer, 24, who only became England qualified earlier this year, could now make his Test debut when the first of a five-match series starts at Edgbaston on August 1.
He carried a side strain throughout the World Cup but reported fit after a brief holiday in his native Barbados, with Archer returning to action for Sussex on Friday, where he took 2-21 in a tied Twenty20 Blast match with Surrey.
Meanwhile Stokes was restored to his position as Joe Root’s deputy after being stripped of the vice-captaincy following a late night brawl in September 2017. He was subsequently cleared on a charge of affray last year, with Jos Buttler acting as vice-captain.
Both Buttler and Stokes were rested from a see-saw Test against Ireland that England eventually won by 143 runs at Lord’s on Friday, with veteran spearhead James Anderson also returning to the squad after missing the match with a side injury.
But while 10 of the 11 players who defeated Ireland were included, there was no place for left-arm spinner Jack Leach following his man-of-the-match heroics that saw the nightwatchman make a career-best 92 in England’s second innings.
Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad finished the Ireland match in spectacular style, the seamers taking six for 17 and four for 19 respectively as the visitors collapsed to 38 all out.
England squad for 1st Ashes Test: Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).