Archer was England’s leading wicket-taker when they won the tournament four years ago and closed out their triumph in the final with a nerveless Super Over, but has not played since the IPL this year due to an elbow stress fracture.
Luke Wright, an England selector and Archer’s former Sussex team-mate, said that England were “desperate” for him to be fit but that they were reluctant to “force him into playing” ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation.
“There has got to be a duty of care with Jof,” Wright said. “We know how desperate we all are to have him – there’s no doubt about that – but we’ve also got to get it right for him. He’s been very unfortunate with these injuries… regarding the World Cup, unfortunately, we’re just running out of time.
“He’s not going to come round quite quick enough, especially for the first part of the World Cup. There is a duty of care with him. We have to make sure that long-term, we get it right because we see him as a huge asset for a long time. As much as the temptation is to try and rush him in and get him in for the start of this World Cup, unfortunately, we’re just going to run out of time.”
England have picked six frontline seamers in their provisional 15-man squad – which can be tweaked until September 28 – and anticipate a gruelling workload for their seamers, with nine group games scheduled in 37 days and flights required between venues across India.
Most of their first-choice fast bowlers have suffered injuries at some stage in the last two years and England hope that Archer will be available to play a part in the second half of the tournament in the event that one of them goes down again.
More to follow…