England bowler Jofra Archer has said the years he spent as a teenager grappling with a long-running back injury were “dark times”.
The 25-year-old Archer – who has not played since the Boxing Day Test against South Africa after suffering a stress fracture – opened up about his struggles in a podcast for his Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.
Archer, who only made his international debut in 2019, said he feared the injury would scupper his career prospects.
“It felt like I was missing out on my golden years. The doctor told me if he didn’t see improvement, he couldn’t even see me playing club cricket,” the pacer said.
“You’re young and you want to play, you have got to make the most of your youth because before you know it, you’re 20, 21 or even 25. And then a lot of people don’t take chances on guys who are a little bit older. Those were dark times to be honest, I spent two years out of cricket.”
The fast bowler’s absence from the sport has coincided with a lengthy period of enforced rest for all top-flight cricketers as the coronavirus pandemic halted major sporting events worldwide.
The start of the English season and the IPL, world’s richest cricket tournament, have been postponed indefinitely.
The Barbados-born Archer emerged as one of cricket’s most exciting players last year when he helped England win their first men’s 50-over World Cup, taking a team-high 20 wickets at 23.05.
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