England pacer Jofra Archer expects to return to first-team cricket later this month in the T20 Blast but admits that his elbow injury has made him worried about keeping his England central contract.
Archer, 27, hasn’t played for England since their T20I series in India last March, and he’s had three surgeries in the last 14 months, including one on his hand to remove a shard of glass and two on his elbow.
Before his second elbow surgery in December, he made an aborted comeback, playing one T20 Blast game and one Royal London Cup warm-up match for Sussex. As part of his recuperation, he has been training with England in Barbados during their T20I and Test visits to the Caribbean.
After missing the ongoing IPL, when he has acquired for INR 8 crore (GBP 800,000 approx.) by Mumbai Indians, he aims to return for Sussex against Glamorgan in their first Blast match on May 26.
“In a scenario like this, when you’re forced to have surgery, you do wonder if you’ll ever play cricket again if you’ll ever play all formats,” Archer wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“The ECB, on the other hand, assured me that they wanted me around for a long period. When things weren’t going well, I was worried that I might lose my [England central] contract, but now I am optimistic about the future.”
Archer is unlikely to play Test cricket this summer, according to reports, since the ECB is concerned about hurrying him back from injury. However, Archer stated that he has received no indication from the ECB’s new managing director of men’s cricket, Rob Key, that he will only be considered a white-ball player going ahead. But once he recovers fully he will be considered for the longest format too.