Jofra Archer is set to sign a central contract with the ECB as a reward for his remarkable rise to stardom that will make him one of England’s best-paid cricketers.
Archer, who only debuted for England in May, was a key player during this summer’s World Cup victory, and he then went on to make his first Test appearance in the second match of the 2019 Ashes.
The 24-year-old, who was born in Barbados, kept his place for the third Test and took his first five-wicket haul as England record the most stunning of victories over Australia.
Archer’s performances in 2019 will see him awarded both Test and white-ball contracts when the ECB hands out new deals next month, The Times report.
He faces earning more than £1million-a-year from the governing body, on top of the £800,000 he gets playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
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Ten players are currently on central Test contracts, though Adil Rashid may lose his deal as he is unlikely to remain part of England’s Test squad.
Joe Root, who has Test and white-ball contracts, is understood to be the highest-earning England cricketer at present. He makes just shy of £1m-a-year, which includes a bonus for being captain of the Test team.
Jofra Archer, Jack Leach and Ben Stokes shared the starring roles as England’s captivating fifth-day victory charge came up four wickets short in a drawn second Ashes Test at Lord’s.
Stokes hit 115 not out, his first century in two years, to set up the declaration, with the ferocious pace of debutant Archer and the nagging left-arm spin of Leach piling the pressure on Australia in a suitably tense finale.
The tourists, without key man Steve Smith due a concussion caused by a vicious Archer bouncer the previous afternoon, finished on 154 for six under failing light just before 7.30pm.
Stokes played wonderfully for his seventh Test hundred, allowing Joe Root the luxury of declaring 266 ahead with 48 overs left in the day, but the real tension revealed itself as England pursued the win during a compelling fourth innings.
Archer once again provided the adrenaline, rattling bodies, rapping helmets and taking three wickets to cap a remarkable first appearance, while Leach proved a brilliant foil with three of his own in the evening session.
Australia retained their 1-0 series lead courtesy of Smith’s concussion substitute Marnus Labuschagne, who made 59, and Travis Head, who finished 42 not out but was badly dropped by Jason Roy earlier in his innings.
Day four ended with all four results possible, but rain delayed the start on Sunday by 70 minutes, shaving 10 crucial overs off a contest that had already lost five full sessions.
By the time England declared just before 3.30pm they had effectively taken an Australia win off the table too. A quick collapse would have left them vulnerable, but Stokes and Jos Buttler closed off that avenue, adding 61 runs without loss before lunch.
Having run through England on day five at Edgbaston much of the expectation was on off-spinner Nathan Lyon. He had seen Stokes dropped at slip the previous evening as well as trapping him lbw with an rejected appeal that went unreviewed, but was struggling to wreak the same havoc.
In the end he finished with nought for 102, his box of tricks seemingly empty.
With the spade work done, England attacked. It cost Buttler his wicket, pulling Pat Cummins to long-leg off the top edge for 31, but helped them added 101 quick runs.
Jonny Bairstow showed the way, smashing his seventh ball for six, and Stokes was quick to follow suit by slog-sweeping Lyon over the ropes twice in a row. Stokes had reached his 51 in 112 balls before lunch but needed only 48 more to convert his century.
On 99 he missed a reverse sweep as Lyon dropped one down leg but two balls later a nudge-and-run brought him his long-awaited seventh century.
A few more flourishes followed before Root waved his men in, kicking off a belated victory push.
Archer took only nine balls to deliver on the crowd’s lofty expectations. Coming around the wicket with his usual hustle and pace he had David Warner smartly caught by Rory Burns at third slip. Warner has now scored 18 runs in four innings and looks well short of his combative best.
Usman Khawaja was next in Archer’s sights, pushing at one that shaded away and edging to Bairstow. Archer wheeled away in delight, braids flapping, roared on by the crowd.
That brought Labuschagne in as Smith’s alternate and it took Archer just two balls to leave the concussion replacement undergoing medical checks of his own, the second rearing up and pounding the grille at an eye-watering 91.6mph.
Archer, at the age of just 24 and on his first appearance at this level, had doubled down on his status as the most dangerous man in the sport.
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Labuschagne, cleared to continue with a new helmet, joined Cameron Bancroft to reach tea on 46 for two, leaving England 35 overs to wrap things up. Leach struck in the first of them, trapping Bancroft lbw with one that stayed low only for the next 22 to tick by with a single dropped catch to show – Roy reprieving Head and frustrating Stokes.
Labuschagne finally fell in contentious circumstances, given caught when Root scooped a deflection off short-leg’s body at the last possible moment. Lacking conclusive contrary proof third umpire Joel Wilson went with the ‘soft signal’ and Labuschagne was gone.
Leach struck again with his next ball, Matthew Wade bat-pad for one; before Archer’s latest hostile spell did its work.
After a sequence of awkward bumpers Tim Paine pulled to midwicket, where Joe Denly launched himself into a staggering one-handed take. Leach almost took his fourth, Burns nearly hanging on to Cummins at silly point, but the visitors did enough to see it through under murky skies.
Steve Smith was forced to retire hurt in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s after a remarkable battle with Jofra Archer ended with the batsman decked by a 92.4mph bouncer, only to bravely re-emerge after a brief break in dressing room.
The Australia No. 4 was on 80 not out, his latest epic knock of the series, when he was struck in the neck by a viscious delivery from the debutant.
Smith, who had already received treatment for a nasty blow on the left forearm and fended off a lightning fast 96.1mph ball aimed at his ribs, hit the deck immediately and remained on the floor for an extended period before stumbling to his feet.
Members of both teams’ medical staff attended to him and the 30-year-old was eventually persuaded to leave the pitch, despite being seemingly reluctant to do so.
Smith was applauded from the field, with his side 55 behind on 203 for six.
While most people were expecting Test cricket’s first ever concussion substitute to appear, Smith surprised everybody by retaking the field as soon as Peter Siddle fell to Chris Woakes.
Even more remarkably he hit his first two balls for four, clubbing Woakes to wide long-on then easing into a backfoot cover drive before eventually falling lbw to Woakes for 92.
The passage of play midway through the afternoon session was almost impossibly tense, with the state of the game relegated to secondary status as Smith and Archer, recent team-mates at Rajasthan Royals, went head to head.
Smith, who occupied the crease for 11 hours during his match-winning twin centuries at Edgbaston, had already chewed through another 143 deliveries to frustrate England when Archer cranked things up to the next level.
Bowling fast and straight with the old ball he drew a rare misjudgement from Smith, who ducked into a short one and sustained a heavy blow to the left forearm.
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He winced in pain and shook his head, stopping to receive treatment as physios massaged the bruising and supplied painkillers.
An over of left-arm spin provided the buffer before Archer went again, testing Smith with a series of precise bumpers aimed at the body and each comfortably above the 90mph threshold.
Smith took on the first and top-edged a hook straight over the wicketkeeper for four, then mis-hit the second to fine leg, having again taken the aggressive option.
The last ball of the over, Archer’s 25th of the innings, was the most remarkable yet, clocking in at a quite incredible 96.1mph – surely the fastest recorded delivery by an English bowler in a generation.
It was also accurate, zoning in on Smith’s rib cage, only to be expertly guided downwards in the direction of short leg while not offering a hint of a catch.
Smith took the upper hand momentarily at the start of the fateful 77th over, swivelling to pull Archer for four and paving the way for a decisive reply.
Once again Archer went short and, although Smith shaped to duck, he got himself into an awkward position, eventually turning his head as the Dukes ball reared up under the protected area and crashed into the lower part of the neck.
Smith’s limp tumble to the turf could not help but conjure chilling reminders of his late team-mate Phil Hughes, who died five years ago after being hit by a bouncer while batting for South Australia.
Thankfully Smith was eventually able to get up, even appearing to argue his case for remaining in position.
Once replays showed the extent of the contact, and with Archer ready and willing to send down more of the same, that was never a likely option and he was led to the pavilion to sounds of applause.
Rather less impressively there were audible boos when he returned to the middle after 54 balls away, Woakes taking Siddle’s edge.
Jofra Archer offered a tantalising glimpse of his Ashes potential as England attempted to bowl their way back into the second Test having been dismissed for 258 at Lord’s.
After a washout on day one, visiting captain Tim Paine made the brave call to field first in what appeared welcoming batting conditions, the first Australian captain to insert the opposition since February 2016.
The gamble largely paid off, England’s innings subsiding shortly before 6pm, but battling knocks from Rory Burns (53) and Jonny Bairstow (52) provided a foothold in the game.
Stuart Broad removed David Warner with a beauty as the tourists reached 30 for one at stumps, but Archer, England’s most eagerly anticipated debutant since Kevin Pietersen, turned in a compelling six-over cameo that hinted at plenty more to come.
He was wicketless at the close but generated a tangible electricity at the same ground where his super over helped England win the World Cup just a month ago.
His second ball in Test cricket almost flattened Cameron Bancroft’s off stump, his third topped 90mph and his 10th appeared to claim an edge that went unnoticed by everyone on the field.
The buzz around the 24-year-old masked a good day for Australia, for whom the recalled Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took three wickets each as they preyed on a fragile top six.
The day’s play was dedicated to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, with the stands a sea of red and both teams honouring former England captain Andrew Strauss’ late wife by donning commemorative caps and shirts. A total of £382,462 was raised.
Strauss sons rang the five-minute bell and collected the mementos from the players but the sense of bonhomie and collaboration was quickly replaced by a typically hard-fought day of Ashes cricket.
Any apprehension Paine harboured about his decision evaporated midway through the second over, with Jason Roy dismissed for a brief, but torrid, duck.
Hazlewood’s first ball drew an uncertain waft of the bat, his second beat the outside edge and his third grazed the bat on the way through. Roy has just 43 runs in four innings as a Test opener and the suspicion that he may need to drop down the order to thrive is only growing.
Hazlewood was only getting started, though, reeling off three successive maidens on a consistently challenging line before nipping one back into England captain Joe Root and thumping the knee roll in front of leg stump.
Root did not challenge the lbw decision but departed reluctantly, perhaps in fear of what might unfold. Things could have deteriorated further, Burns dropped at gully on 16 and Joe Denly clattered on the helmet by a pumped up Cummins, but the pair held firm as they added another 50 runs before lunch.
Having surrendered some of their momentum Australia reset during the interval and took the next four wickets for 62. Denly was the first, taking another nasty blow on the arm before becoming Hazlewood’s third victim of the day courtesy of a thin edge.
A second reprieve for Burns, this time by Paine, allowed him to bring up a determined half-century but his luck was about to catch up with him. He fell to a memorable grab at short-leg, Bancroft staying low, springing sideways and gathering one-handed at the second attempt.
That brought Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes together at Lord’s for the first time since their game-changing partnership in the World Cup final, but there was no encore. Buttler fiddled outside off stump to give Peter Siddle his first success and Stokes fell lbw sweeping Nathan Lyon. Between them they had eked out just 25 runs and conjured a pair of soft departures.
At 138 for six the game – and possibly the series – was slipping from England’s grasp. That they did not lose their grip entirely was down to Bairstow, coming in on the back of four successive failures.
He put on 72 with Chris Woakes, driving crisply and correctly whenever invited and building up enough confidence to unveil a deft reverse sweep off Lyon.
Just before tea he had nudged England past 200 but once again Australia used the break in play to their advantage. Woakes had batted with impressive care and attention for 32 but it took only one well-directed bumper from Cummins, thudding the back of the helmet as the all-rounder ducked, to undo him.
Woakes passed a concussion test but was rattled, lasting just a couple more balls before gloving another rib-tickling delivery through to the wicketkeeper.
The barrage of bumpers continued for the rest of the innings, Archer succumbing after one flamboyant cut for four. Lyon wrapped things, bamboozling Broad before Bairstow holed out chasing late runs.
The expectations on Archer were palpable as England took the field and he came within a whisker of cleaning up Bancroft with his second ball, a whizzing, hooping inswinger, then breached 90mph with his next two.
Archer should have been toasting a first Test scalp in his second over, but nobody on the field heard the nick which UltraEdge appeared to detect as the ball skimmed Warner’s bat.
In the end it was Broad who did for the left-hander, flicking leg stump with one that tore through Warner’s defences, but Bancroft and Usman Khawaja fought through to the end.
Jofra Archer’s eagerly-anticipated England Test debut has been put on hold as the first day of the second Ashes Test match at Lord’s was washed out before a ball had been bowled.
In fact, the most exciting moment of the bleak day at the home of cricket came when fast bowler Archer, who helped England win the World Cup earlier this summer, was handed his first cap by Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan.
Only eight of Jordan’s 78 England appearances have come in the five-day format but he was easily the most apt choice to welcome his fellow Barbadian into the fold, having helped the man he calls a ‘little brother’ swap the Caribbean for Hove three years ago.
When Jordan presented Archer with his Three Lions cap, shortly before 3pm, there was still hope of seeing him in action but fading hopes of getting captains Joe Root and Tim Paine to complete the toss disappeared as another heavy downpour struck.
Forecasts are better for day two, when the famous old ground will turn red in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation – a lung cancer charity set up to honour the late wife of Andrew Strauss, the former England captain and director of men’s cricket.
Fans have been asked to wear the colour and both teams will wear limited-edition caps and shirts to be auctioned off, one of several fund-raising initiatives in place on Thursday.
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Play will be extended by half an hour on each of the remaining four days, meaning only one session has been lost to the weather at this stage.
England, who have yet to reveal whether Sam Curran or Jack Leach will take the final place in their side, are 1-0 down after their heavy loss in the series opener at Edgbaston but will be buoyed by the presence of Archer’s formidable 90mph pace.
World Cup hero Jofra Archer has been named in England’s Test squad for next week’s Ashes opener at Edgbaston, with all-rounder Ben Stokes reappointed as vice-captain.
The calls represent a huge endorsement for two men who arguably did more than anyone to deliver England’s historic World Cup final win over New Zealand earlier this month, involved with bat and ball in the unprecedented super over which secured the silverware.
Archer, uncapped at Test level, was nursing a side strain after the tournament but reported fit after a brief holiday in his native Barbados and returned to action for Sussex on Friday night.
His two wickets for 21 runs in the tied Vitality T20 Blast clash with Surrey convinced the selectors to include him in an expanded 14-man squad featuring plenty of bowling options.
Stokes, meanwhile, reclaims his position as Joe Root’s deputy – a role he was stripped of following a late night brawl in September 2017. He was ultimately cleared on a charge of affray last summer but Jos Buttler has been acting vice-captain until now.
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Ten of the 11 players who defeated Ireland in a rollercoaster Test at Lord’s are included, joined by Stokes, Archer, Buttler and James Anderson, who were all rested for that match.
Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad finished things in spectacular style at the home of cricket, taking six for 17 and four for 19 respectively as the Irish were demolished for just 38. Olly Stone and left-armer Sam Curran complete the pace options.
Jack Leach unfortunately misses out having been named man of the match for his nightwatchman’s knock of 92 in a low-scoring game. His left-arm spin was considered surplus to requirements.
National selector Ed Smith said: “Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here.
“Several bowlers are recovering from injuries or niggles. In addition, some bowlers who played in the World Cup are being closely monitored to assess their preparation for Test match cricket.
“The wider circumstances – a successful home World Cup campaign followed so quickly by a home Ashes series – are unprecedented. It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open for the final team selection.”
On Stokes’ return to a leadership position, a statement confirmed the decision had passed through several senior management figures at the England and Wales Cricket Board.
It read: “Colin Graves, chairman of the ECB, has approved the reappointment of Ben Stokes as Test vice-captain following the recommendation from managing director of England men’s cricket Ashley Giles and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.”