Skipper Stokes wants Jofra Archer ready for next year’s Ashes, not ready to rush him against Pak

Star bowler Jofra Archer might have recovered from elbow and back injuries and is raring to play all formats of the game, England Test skipper Ben Stokes does not want to rush him but instead wait for him to be fit for next year’s Ashes series.

Archer is currently with the England Lions, the country’s ‘A’ side, here playing against the Test side, helping them prepare for the upcoming red-ball series in Pakistan.

However, Stokes said he wants Archer to be “fit and ready” and at his disposal against Australia next summer.

“It’s been great to see him out here. It’s great to see him running back in with the ball in his hand and bowling fast. He’s one of the superstars of the international game and it’s really good to have him back around the group,” Stokes told Sky Sports from Abu Dhabi where his team is preparing for the Pakistan tour.

“I bowled with him this morning and he said, ‘Any injuries (in Pakistan) skip, let me know’, but I think he’s just really excited to be back.

“He’s had a long time off with injury and as exciting as it is, we’ve got to be careful not to rush him back because we don’t want to see Jofra on the sidelines for this amount of (time) again,” said Stokes.

“Hopefully, we can have Jofra fit and ready for the Ashes. That’s something we’re looking at and it would be great to have him available for selection,” he added.

Due to a succession of elbow and back injuries, the 27-year-old pacer hasn’t played an international fixture since March 2021 — a T20I against India in Ahmedabad – while his most recent Test outing came a month earlier against the same opponents.

He has not been picked for the Pakistan tour and Stokes does not want to rush him.

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