RR’s new director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara has admitted that the franchise hopes to have Jofra Archer available for some part during the IPL season after he underwent surgery. Sangakkara also stressed that the franchise wouldn’t rush him back at any point to be part of the IPL season.
Just two weeks before the start of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League, Rajasthan Royals were dealt with a jolt, with the injury to their star bowler, Jofra Archer. Archer, who picked up 20 wickets for the franchise in the 2020 season, underwent surgery, which ruled him out from the first few games of the season. In his absence, the franchise has to choose between Chris Morris and Andrew Tye for the role.
RR’s new Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara admitted that the franchise are hoping to see the return of Jofra Archer for some part of the IPL season. The franchise, who finished last in the 2020 edition, have bolstered their bowling attack with Chris Morris after RCB released him. Sangakkara also insisted that it is a ‘big blow’ for the franchise to not have their star pacer Archer fit in time.
"We are certainly hoping that he (Archer) will be available for some part of the IPL. Not having him at the start is a big blow for us, because a lot of our planning is centred around his availability, and such last-minute injury concerns do affect any side, especially if it's a player of the quality of Jofra,” said Sangakkara, reported ESPNCricinfo.
However, Sangakkara stressed that at no point would the franchise risk fielding the pacer if he is not entirely fit, as it would affect his international career with the World T20 right around the corner.
"But it's very important that Jofra gets fit, not just for the IPL, but importantly for his international career. He needs to be in a very good space with his body, and mentally, when he does come here, so we're all waiting to see how the assessment goes. And once the assessment is done, we'll know more."
"His value to world cricket and to England cricket is part of our decision and we will be guided by the experts in English cricket who look after Jofra. It's not something we look at selfishly and we take a holistic view of how important Jofra is,” he added.
Since the turn of last year, the pacer has been rested by the national team several times, in lieu to keep him mentally and physically upbeat. Sangakkara insisted that they would follow a similar approach in the Rajasthan set up, where they would not look at Archer’s career restricted to one IPL season.
"We have to be concerned about him as a player because his career is long-term and is not restricted to just one season and the IPL," Sangakkara added.