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England v West Indies

Anderson hopes abuse won’t prevent Archer from playing final Test

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

James Anderson, the England paceman, has said teammate Jofra Archer should sit down with the England captain and coach and decide if he’s in the right frame of mind to play the final Test against West Indies.

Archer, writing in a column for the Daily Mail, said he was “struggling for motivation” following a difficult week, in which he was excluded from the second Test against West Indies after it emerged he had broken bio-secure protocols.

He underwent a five-day self-isolation period, and after testing negative for Covid-19, he has been cleared to return to action for the final Test. However, he’s copped a lot of criticism for his actions on social media, some of which were racist, prompting Archer to escalate the matter to the ECB.

“We’ve not seen much of [Jofra] because he’s been in isolation for a few days,” Anderson was quoted as saying by The Guardian. “I’m sure he’ll want to play in this game because it’s such a crucial game, the series resting on it.

“He’s said about his frame of mind and that’s something that over the next two days he’s going to have to sit down with the captain and coach and figure out if he’s in the right place to play.”

On Wednesday, Archer responded to a critic on Twitter who said he should not “bring racism in[to] everything”, saying: “Come back when you can use your real name and real display picture.”

Anderson, who is expected to play the final Test after being rested for the second, added that Archer should rely on his support system to deal with criticism. “It’s finding ways of dealing with the extra attention,” said Anderson. “I was fortunate when I came into the England team there was no social media back then, but the way people can get their opinions out there, it’s quite visible.

“It’s just finding methods as a player to deal with that, and I think using the team around him as well, whether that’s family friends, management and the players and coaches here. It’s important everyone does that, not just Jofra.”

The three-match series is tied 1-1, and the decider is set to start in Manchester on Friday.

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