England cricketer Jofra Archer has been excluded from today’s second Test against the West Indies following a breach of the team’s bio-secure protocols.
Both teams have been living, training and sleeping in two ‘bubble’ sites, at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford, adhering to strict health and safety procedures agreed by both boards due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Archer has now confessed to breaking those rules and has been removed from the team environment immediately.
The bowler will now commence five days of isolation and will undergo two COVID-19 tests in this period, which have to come back negative before his self-isolation period is lifted.
The West Indies team have been made aware and are satisfied with the measures that have been imposed, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.
“I am extremely sorry for what I have done,” said Archer.
“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.”
While it is not yet clear what Archer did to contravene the rules, any such breach is sure to have invoked disbelief and fury at the ECB.
At one stage there were serious concerns that the entire English summer programme would be wiped out by COVID-19 – with chief executive Tom Harrison outlining that the worst-case estimates for that scenario involved a near £400m loss to the game.
The West Indies’ willingness to travel and take part in the series was, therefore, a huge boost and involved much meticulous planning.