Stokes wants 'superstar' Archer fit and firing for the Ashes

By Sports Desk November 25, 2022

England Test captain Ben Stokes hopes to have "one of the superstars of the international game" Jofra Archer fit and firing for the Ashes.

Archer has not played on the international stage since March 2021 due to injury, but returned to action for the England Lions against England this week.

The luckless paceman bowled nine overs in his first match for 16 months, not taking a wicket but rattling Zak Crawley on the helmet with a rapid bouncer in Abu Dhabi.

England will attempt to regain the Ashes from Australia on home soil next year and Stokes wants hostile quick Archer to play his part.

The all-rounder told Sky Sports: "It's been great to see him out here when we joined up with the Lions.

"It's great to see him back running with the ball in his hand. He's one of the superstars of the international game and it's great to see him running back in, bowling fast and it's really good to have him back around the group as well.

"I think he's just really excited to be back. He's obviously had a long time off with injury and as exciting as it is we've got to be careful not to rush him back as we don't want to see Jofra Archer on the sidelines for this amount of [time] again.

"That's the plan, hopefully we can have Jofra fit and ready especially for The Ashes.

"That's something that we're looking at for Jof and it would be great to have him available for selection for that."

Leg-spinning all-rounder Rehan Ahmed could become the youngest man to play a Test for England against Pakistan next month after he was added to the squad this week.

Stokes is excited by the potential the 18-year-old, who also played for the Lions in a drawn three-day match this week, possesses.

He said: "We've seen him as one of those very rare talents. To have someone at such a young age be so noticeable as a cricketer with the way that he bowls and the way that he bats.

"We saw it as a very good opportunity to get him into the squad, get him around the group, get him into the environment.

"He's a fantastic talent, he loves cricket, he just spends all his time shadow-batting in his room. He absolutely loves it.

"I'm really excited to have him into the squad, get him round the group and see what he's got."

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