England have suffered another setback just weeks before this summer’s Ashes after fast bowler Jofra Archer was ruled out through injury.
Archer flew back early from the Indian Premier League last week and scans have since revealed a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow.
It comes as England chiefs sweat on the fitness of captain Ben Stokes and paceman James Anderson ahead of the Ashes series with Australia, which starts next month.
“It has been a frustrating and upsetting period for Jofra Archer,” said Rob Key, England’s managing director for men’s cricket.
“He was making good progress until a recurrence of the elbow injury, which kept him out for an extended period previously.
“We wish him the best of luck with his recovery. I’m sure we will see Jofra back to his best and winning games for England, whatever the format. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.”
Stokes followed Archer in cutting short his stint in the IPL this week in order to prioritise his readiness for the Ashes, while veteran Anderson, 40, is nursing a groin strain sustained while bowling for Lancashire last week.
Nonetheless, selectors have named both men in the squad for the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s on 1 June – England’s last action before the Ashes begins on 16 June.
In better news, wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow has been deemed fit enough to return for the first time since breaking his leg last summer. He replaces Ben Foakes.
“We are looking forward to the summer ahead and getting into the swing of things, starting with a good test against Ireland,” added Key.
“It was a seriously tough decision to leave Ben Foakes out of the squad. He has been excellent for England in the last year, but Jonny Bairstow is one of the best players in the world whose performances last summer epitomised what we are about.”
England squad to face Ireland:
- Ben Stokes (Durham) Captain
- James Anderson (Lancashire)
- Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
- Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
- Harry Brook (Yorkshire)
- Zak Crawley (Kent)
- Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire)
- Dan Lawrence (Essex)
- Jack Leach (Somerset)
- Ollie Pope (Surrey)
- Matthew Potts (Durham)
- Ollie Robinson (Sussex)
- Joe Root (Yorkshire)
- Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
- Mark Wood (Durham)