Friday, 16 April 2021

Jofra Archer apologises for breaching virus bubble

AFP

MANCHESTER: England paceman Jofra Archer apologised after he was ruled out of the second West Indies Test for breaking coronavirus rules, dealing a blow to his side s chances of levelling the series.

Both teams have been living in “bio-secure bubble” sites at the Ageas Bowl, the venue for last week s first Test, and Emirates Old Trafford, where the final two matches of the series will take place.

Sussex fast bowler Archer broke the rules by going home to Brighton on Monday following the end of the first Test, before the team travelled up to Manchester.

His removal from the squad was announced just three hours before play was due to have begun in Manchester.

He apologised for putting his teammates in “danger” and will now undergo five days of self-isolation.

“I am extremely sorry for what I have done,” Archer, who played in last week s first Test, said in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement.

“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.”

A Lancashire spokesman stressed the bio-secure protocols at their Old Trafford headquarters had “not been breached or impacted in any way”.

Archer, who had been retained in the squad while fellow quicks James Anderson and Mark Wood were rested, will need two negative tests for COVID-19 before his isolation period is lifted.

“The West Indies team have been made aware and are satisfied with the measures that have been imposed,” the ECB statement said.

A spokesman said the breach had come to light late on Wednesday. He could not confirm if Archer would face disciplinary action in addition to missing the second Test on health grounds.

The spokesman added that England do not track player or management movement between Tests.

Archer s contravention of the rules is likely to provoke an angry response from officials after they made strenuous efforts to persuade both the West Indies and Pakistan to tour England despite tens of thousands of coronavirus deaths in Britain.

Ireland and Australia are also scheduled to visit this season.

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