Johannesburg – Jofra Archer has been recalled to the England squad for the three-match One-Day International series against South Africa, which will be played next month.
Archer (27) last featured for England in a T20 International against India last year, and has suffered a number of injuries, the most recent to his right elbow, which has sidelined him for more than 18 months.
Archer was called up to the MI Cape Town side for the SA20 League that will be played from January 10.
The three ODIs are a crucial part of the ICC World Super League which will determine the automatic qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup. The Proteas face the embarrassing prospect of having to play a qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June/July, should they fail to attain a top eight spot on the Super League log. The top seven teams and the hosts, India, will qualify automatically for the World Cup.
Following the series loss to a second string India side in October, the Proteas remain in 11th place on the Super League table, on 59 points, 29 points behind the West Indies, who currently occupy that eighth spot. Victory in three of their remaining five matches – the three against England and two against the Netherlands, held over from last year because of Covid-19 – would be enough to get South Africa above the West Indies, but they will need to hope that Sri Lanka slip up over the couple of series they have against Afghanistan and New Zealand.
The Sri Lankans currently have 62 points, and if they win five of their remaining six matches they will finish ahead of the Proteas, even if Temba Bavuma’s men maintain a perfect record in their remaining five matches. Ireland too remain in contention for a top eight spot, needing to win all three matches against Bangladesh in May next year.
Cricket South Africa cancelled the Proteas’ three match series with Australia that was supposed to follow the Test series which is currently on the go, so that the Proteas’ players could be available for the SA20. Australia were given the Super League Points as a result.
The series with England will take place from January 27 to February 1, towards the latter stages of the SA20 when that competition takes a brief hiatus. Quite how many players will be available remains to be seen, given that the SA20 resumes on February 2.
The England squad is a strong one and contains a number of players who will also be involved in the SA20 including skipper Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and rising star Harry Brook, amongst others.