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‘Hopefully it can be a repeat of 2019’



Photo: Jofra Archer

|| CF DESK ||

Prior to his long-awaited return to England, Jofra Archer considers himself to be "about 80%" fit, but the fast bowler is determined to get back in the kind of shape that allowed him to shine during the 2019 Ashes and Cricket World Cup.

In addition to bowling the winning super over in the 50-over World Cup victory on home soil that year, Archer also claimed 22 wickets in the Ashes series against Australia.

His career was interrupted by elbow and back injuries over the previous two years, and the 27-year-old only recently returned to competition in South Africa's Twenty20 league, impressing with eight wickets in five games.

Archer is set to make his first England appearance since March 2021 in the three-match ODI series against South Africa, which starts in Bloemfontein on Friday.

With an Ashes series and World Cup looming this year, he is keen to pick up where he left off.

"Hopefully it can be a repeat of 2019. We've got a 50-over World Cup again and an Ashes in the same year so more of the same, please,” Archer said.

"I need to spend the next two, three, four months fine-tuning the body and making myself a bit more resilient. Let me sort that out first and then I can look forward to holding the red ball in my hand again,”

"I know whenever I'm fully fit, I don't think there's much that can stop me, it's just a matter of when that was going to be."

A healthy and effective Archer would significantly help England's efforts to defend their World Cup title and win the Ashes for the first time since 2015.

"It is an exciting prospect to think about playing with the guys again, especially with the brand of cricket they are playing, which is very exciting," Archer added.

"I might have to do some extra bowling during the weeks when I'm in India (for the Indian Premier League). But that is absolutely fine because I want to play in the Ashes, so I'm going to have to do all the hard yards to tick those boxes."