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Archer left out of second Test after protocol breach

Paceman Jofra Archer has been dropped from the England squad due to a protocol breach. Picture: Reuters

CAPE TOWN – England fast bowler Jofra Archer has expressed his sincere remorse after breaching the team’s bio-secure protocols, which now means he will miss the second Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford starting on Thursday.

All the players, management and support staff of both teams and umpires participating in this series are expected to follow strict regulations relating to Covid-19 throughout the series. The first Test at the Ageas Bowl last week was the first Test played since Covid-19 brought an abrupt halt to all international cricket in March.

Archer was England’s standout bowler in the first Test defeat to the Windies, but will now commence five days of isolation and will undergo two Covid-19 tests in this period, which have to test negative before his self-isolation period is lifted.

“I am extremely sorry for what I have done,” Archer said in a statement released by the ECB.

“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.

“It deeply pains me to be missing the Test match, especially with the series poised. I feel like I have let both teams down, and again I am sorry.”

The West Indies team have been made aware and are satisfied with the measures that have been imposed.

England captain Joe Root has returned to the bio-bubble environment after missing the first Test due to the birth of his second child last week. He will take over the captaincy from all-rounder Ben Stokes.

The hosts have already opted to rest veteran seamer James Anderson for this second Test at his home ground along with Mark Wood. Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes are the most likely replacements for the duo, although England have also called up Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson. Sussex paceman Robinson would be making his Test debut should he replace Archer.

England squad for second Test: Joe Root (capt), Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

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