England pacer Jofra Archer has been excluded from the second Test against the West Indies starting on Thursday at Old Trafford in Manchester following a breach of the team’s bio-secure protocols, England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.
ECB said that Archer will isolate himself for five days and will undergo two Covid-19 tests during this period, the results of which have to be negative before his self-isolation period is lifted.
“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.”
West Indies lead 1-0 in the three-match series after defeating the hosts by four wickets in Southampton. The series marks the resumption of cricket after three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Archer had a wicketless outing in the first innings at the Ageas Bowl but was in fine form in the second essay, picking up three wickets but was unable to lead his side to a win.
England had earlier confirmed that premier pacer James Anderson and Mark Wood will be rested for the encounter. England later confirmed that Archer’s breach of protocol took place between Southampton and Old Trafford. England will select either uncapped Ollie Robinson or all-rounder Chris Woakes in his place.
An ECB spokesman could not confirm if Archer would face further disciplinary action in addition to missing the second Test. But the breach is likely to provoke an angry response from officials at Lord’s after they made strenuous efforts to persuade both the West Indies and Pakistan to tour England this season against the backdrop of more than 44,000 deaths in Britain during the pandemic.
Earlier in the campaign, there was a very real concern that Covid-19 could wipe out the 2020 home English cricket programme entirely, with ECB chief executive Tom Harrison outlining a worst-case scenario of a game-wide loss of some £380 million if that happened.