England Lions – Jofra Archer to step up injury comeback at England Lions training camp

England Lions - Jofra Archer to step up injury comeback at England Lions training camp
Jofra Archer will join England Lions’ training camp in the UAE next month as he continues his rehabilitation from a back stress fracture which ruled him out of the 2022 English summer.

Archer has not played for England since March 2021 and has not played any competitive cricket since July 2021. He spent last year struggling with a long-standing elbow issue which required multiple bouts of surgery and then suffered his back stress fracture while preparing to make his comeback earlier this year.

He has been building up his bowling over the last few months and retained his central contract for 2022-23, with England believed to be optimistic about the prospect of him returning to full fitness in time for one of their tours in early 2023.

Archer is one of three fast bowlers, along with Saqib Mahmood and Brydon Carse, who will travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to continue their rehab, shadowing a 15-man Lions training group which includes Matthew Fisher, who also missed most of the 2022 season through injury.

The Lions squad will be in the UAE from November 6-27 and the tour will culminate in a three-day practice match against England’s Test team starting on November 23, ahead of their tour to Pakistan in December.

Rehan Ahmed, the 18-year-old legspinning allrounder, is the standout name in the Lions squad. He has only played three first-class matches but is highly rated by the ECB and could travel to Pakistan with the Test squad as a net bowler. He is one of three spinners in the touring party, along with Nottinghamshire allrounder Liam Patterson-White and Sussex’s Jack Carson.
Haseeb Hameed and Dan Lawrence, who both played Test cricket last winter but have not been involved since Brendon McCullum took over as head coach in May, are both named in the Lions squad, while Matthew Potts – a surprise omission from the Pakistan tour after 20 wickets in five Tests this summer – is also due to travel.

The Lions are also due to tour Sri Lanka in early 2023 to play competitive red-ball and 50-over games, and Mo Bobat, the ECB’s performance director, said that the selection process for the Abu Dhabi training camp had been “as individualised as possible”.

“Selection for the camp was conducted in close collaboration with both players and counties,” Bobat said, “and there are a number of players that have been encouraged and supported to take up other opportunities at home and overseas.

“It’s great to be able to recommence Lions developmental experiences and the camp in Dubai and Abu Dhabi represents a fantastic opportunity for a high-potential group of players. The camp also supports the England Men’s team in their preparation for Pakistan, allowing England and Lions players to work closely together in overseas conditions.”

James Anderson and Jamie Overton will both join the camp from November 6 to start their preparation for the Pakistan Test tour, with Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach and Will Jacks due to join five days later. The rest of the squad will travel on November 18, with Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood arriving straight from the T20 World Cup in Australia.

England Lions training squad: Tom Abell, Rehan Ahmed, Josh Bohannon, Jack Carson, Sam Conners, Sam Cook, Matthew Fisher, Haseeb Hameed, Tom Haines, Jack Haynes, Lyndon James, Dan Lawrence, Liam Patterson-White, Matthew Potts, Jamie Smith

Fast bowler rehab: Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood, Brydon Carse (November 11-27)

Test Player preparation: James Anderson. Jamie Overton (both November 6-19), Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Will Jacks (all November 11-19)

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