There is no quick way back after selfish act
Archer will probably have to sit out the next Test, too, but this talented youngster can be given second chance
There is a trust that you buy into as a team when you get asked not to go home and not to see your families – you only have to look at the sacrifices the West Indies players have made to allow this series to go ahead. They came here on June 8 and have been locked in at cricket grounds and cannot go out to see anybody.
The selfish nature of what Jofra Archer did means he has got to earn the trust of the dressing room once again.
You are not telling me that James Anderson did not want to nip home on Monday to see his girls, who live two miles away from the ground here at Old Trafford, or Chris Woakes to go to see his family. All the players and coaching staff would have loved the opportunity to just nip home. Archer has broken the team discipline and the culture, so England had no option but to leave him out.
The fact that he was willing to go home and potentially threaten the series by bringing Covid-19 back into the bubble will mean that he is on the naughty step for a while, I am afraid. Realistically, it would be hard for him to play next week.
I do not think they can bring him back in for the third Test.
But we have also got to understand that he is a young kid and this is really the first mistake he has made. What is important from his perspective is that he learns, but also that he gets a little bit of support over the next five days – he is going to be locked in his room, no one can see him. He needs people on the phone supporting him.
You do not want to leave a young player, who has made a mistake, like that, on his own to have all the thoughts and gather a lot of negativity. He is online, he will have seen a lot of the responses to what he has done.
It is very difficult to say how Joe Root should do it. Personally, I would be speaking to Archer on a day-to-day basis to make sure he is all right. If I was his captain, I would be p----- off that he has broken the rules, because there are a number of the team who would love to go home to see family.
The more that I see the biobubble, the more I see how hard it is for the players. For them not to be able to see their families at all or pop home – I think it is difficult.
So, even though the England and
Wales Cricket Board was very clear in what it told the players to do, I was not surprised actually when I found out that one player had broken the bubble, because of how intense it is.
Should the ECB have had cars for the players? I am not so sure. Personally, I would allow the players the responsibility to get to Manchester. A bit of peace and quiet on their own is probably a good thing.
It did not surprise me that it was broken – that is why I think we have got to be reasonable with criticism. When you are a short distance from your home, there is such a temptation just to nip in to say hello.
We should not throw Archer under the bus. He will be back. He probably needs more awareness of what he is doing outside the game, but I do not want him to lose a character that is very modern, very unique.
He needs to understand the risk that he brought upon the whole series – it was an action of selfishness – because our game cannot survive a series that could have been abandoned.
That is not to say he cannot come back. It is not to say that he will not make the odd mistake in the future, which he will. But in a couple of weeks’ time, against Pakistan, I am sure he will be back.
Archer is a special talent. He has gifts no other English bowlers have. England need him taking the new ball later this summer, and then when the next Ashes comes around.
He needs to understand the risk that he brought upon the whole series with his behaviour