England’s pace spearhead Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match T20I series against South Africa. Archer was already not part of the ODI squad of the series and, chances are that he might also miss the Test tour of Sri Lanka in March.
22-year-old Saqib Mahmood will replace him in the T20I squad. Saqib Mahmood was already part of the ODI squad and will likely make his debut in the 50-over format. He has already played 3 T20I since his debut in November 2019 against New Zealand and has secured 3 wickets.
Archer had already been suffering from a sore elbow right after the first Test against South Africa and went through initial scans but nothing serious came of that.
The pacer also withdrew from the squad for the final Test at Johannesburg right before the toss due to the recurrence of pain in his elbow. Archer said to the Daily Mail: “The last thing you need is to come rushing back and suffer a setback that keeps you out longer. Looking back, I don’t think it would have been the best move to play [in Johannesburg], for myself or the team. As the game has gone on, I’ve seen the number of overs the boys have bowled. It was the right decision.
“Now we go to Sri Lanka, and it might be a repeat of the pitches in New Zealand. If the elbow isn’t good enough, I can’t see them sending me to Sri Lanka. We’ve got a long summer of cricket coming up. We’ve got a Twenty20 World Cup and the physios will have a plan for my wellbeing.”
The T20I leg of the series between South Africa and England will start from February 12 after the 3-match ODI series.