Sunil Gavaskar criticises Jofra Archer after Mumbai Indians stint was cut short through injury
Sunil Gavaskar has criticised Jofra Archer for leaving Mumbai Indians early after his time at IPL 2023 was cut short by injury.
The 28-year-old played Mumbai’s first game of the tournament after missing out last year, but flew to Belgium for minor surgery after complaining of discomfort in his elbow after the match.
He then returned to the IPL and played another four games, before pulling out of the tournament altogether after further elbow problems. The ECB then announced that Archer would be unavailable for the entirety of the summer, extending a two-and-a-half year spell since his last Test appearance.
Gavaskar was not impressed with the fast bowler’s IPL stint, as he wrote in his column for mid-day: “What has been Mumbai Indians experience of Jofra Archer? He didn’t seem 100 per cent fit and he should have informed the franchise about it. They only realised when he turned up and found that he was barely able to bowl at his usual pace.”
Despite his injury issues, Archer has bowled at 90mph when fit this year and took two wickets after returning to Mumbai from surgery.
The Indian batting legend continued: “If he was committed to the franchise, who probably pay him more than the ECB does, he should have stayed right till the end even if he wasn’t going to play and show his commitment towards the franchise. Instead, he has opted to fly off back to the UK.”
The ECB announced Archer’s return to England after it became clear he could take no further part in the tournament. They claimed he had been pushing through discomfort hoping it would pass, but ultimately sent him to continue rehab with Sussex.
Gavaskar went on to claim Mumbai would “not be amused” by Archer’s lack of game time for them, before adding he would be “lucky if he gets his full IPL fee.”
“There’s simply no point paying even one rupee for a player, however big a name he may be, if he is not going to be available for the entire tournament,” he continued. “It’s got to be the player’s choice to pick playing for an IPL franchise or his country.
“Full marks to him if he chooses country over IPL, but if he chooses IPL then he has to fulfil his commitments totally and not make some excuse and leave early, especially towards the time when qualifying for the Playoffs becomes crucial.”
It is unclear what excuse Gavaskar is referring to, as Archer only left Mumbai twice: once to receive treatment on an injury and once to return to England after he had been ruled out of the tournament through injury.
On the general tendency of English players leaving the IPL early, he added: “For far too long the franchises have been too lenient and allowed players to leave towards the latter half of the tournament. If you have signed up for the IPL then you have got to fulfil your commitments to your franchise right till the end of the tournament.”
Mumbai have had a mixed IPL in Archer’s absence, and sit outside of the playoff places on net run rate with one game left to play.
They face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, and will need to win with a better NRR then Royal Challengers Bangalore do in their final game against first-placed Gujarat Titans on the same day.
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