Daily Express

Doctors told me I may not play again... they were dark times


JOFRA ARCHER has told how a chronic back injury in his late teens left doctors fearing he may never play cricket again.

The World Cup-winning fast bowler admitted he struggled through “dark times” with an injury which led to two years on the sidelines.

And he revealed he was told by his doctor that if the injury did not improve he would not even be able to play club cricket.

“I spent two years out and they were dark times to be honest,” said Archer.

“You are young and you want to play, you have got to make the most of your youth and it felt like I was missing out on my golden years.

“The doctor told me if he didn’t see improvemen­t, he couldn’t even see me playing club cricket. So I remember leaving the office that day and I

By Gideon Brooks

was a little bit down, but I decided to rest and if the pain subsided I would give it another go.

“If it doesn’t work then I will go back to university and take another path in life.

“Luckily for me I got to do what I really wanted to do in the end.”

Archer, 25, played schools and age group cricket in Barbados but suffered the injury setback after breaking through at West Indies U19 level.

Six years later he is a World Cup winner, has played in the Ashes and is one of the most in-demand franchise players in world cricket.

Had it not been for worldwide coronaviru­s pandemic, Archer would have been turning out for Rajasthan Royals in front of milllions in the Indian Premier League. But with the crisis putting paid to sport everywhere, there are likely to be a few rusty players when they are finally given the green light to return to action.

On the Rajasthan Royals podcast, Archer also spoke about how his batting had improved: “Coming back after the IPL when you have been training a lot, I always feel like I have got a lot more time, especially coming back to Sussex or coming back to England – I feel like I’m seeing the ball like a beach ball and I feel like I have got a lot more time to hit the ball.”

Archer is now looking at a possible return behind closed doors with England against West Indies in a Test match starting on July 8.

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