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England v West Indies

Michael Atherton criticises ’very foolish’ Jofra Archer after bio-secure breach

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Sky Sports Cricket commentator Michael Atherton has labelled Jofra Archer’s act “very foolish” after he was left out of the England team for the second Test against West Indies for breaching the bio-secure protocols in place.

The fast bowler returned to his home in Hove while travelling from the first venue in Southampton to Manchester. He will now undergo five days of self-isolation and two Covid-19 tests, both of which he’ll have to clear, before being considered for selection again.

“It’s very foolish for a number of reasons,” said Atherton on the Sky Sports Cricket broadcast. “One, it’s cost him a place in the team. Secondly it’s thrown England’s plans into disarray, a vital Test match that they must win to try and win this series. And thirdly it’s put at risk all the work that ECB have done. These six Test matches, three against West Indies, three against Pakistan, they’ve had to do a tremendous amount of work to get these games on.

“Although the protocols might seem very severe, they’ve had to put those in place to get government approval for these games to happen. And, as you know, from broadcast purposes, each of these games are worth about £20 million to the ECB, the international summer as a whole about £180 million, that’s money for the game. So they can’t afford the players to break protocols.”

Archer said he was “extremely sorry” for what he’s done, and Atherton said he doesn’t think the repercussions for his actions need to go beyond this Test match. “He’s been foolish, he’s apologised profusely, and that will be the end of it,” Atherton said. “He should come back into the side, but he’s been foolish and it’s cost him his place here.”

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