Rajasthan Royals pulled off the highest run chase in the history of the Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab, overshadowing a superb century from Mayank Agarwal.

Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia all made key contributions with the bat as the Royals pulled off a stunning four-wicket triumph to make it two from two in the early stages of the 2020 season. 

Agarwal shared in an opening stand worth 183 with in-form skipper KL Rahul as he made a magnificent 106, helping Kings XI post 223-2 after being put into bat.

Nicholas Pooran produced a late cameo, making 25 from just eight deliveries, though his most notable contribution came later in the field with a gravity-defying stop in the deep.

Rajasthan lost Jos Buttler early in their reply, yet captain Smith made 50 in a hurry to make sure his team remained up with the required rate. 

Samson top scored with 85 from just 42 deliveries but, after he became the first of three wickets for seamer Mohammed Shami, Tewatia took over. 

The left-hander vindicated his unexpected promotion up the order, overcoming a sluggish start to blast his team towards their target. Sheldon Cottrell suffered the most, taken for five sixes in an over that cost 30. 

Jofra Archer smashed two maximums to finish 13 not out before fellow England international Tom Curran delivered the winning blow, sending his first ball to the boundary midway through the last over.

 

OPENERS CAUSE ROYAL ISSUES

Having made 132 not out against Bangalore Royal Challengers last time, right-hander Rahul was again in the runs for Kings XI.

The India batsman made 69 from 54 deliveries but played second fiddle to opening partner Agarwal, who hit seven sixes and 10 fours to reach three figures from just 49 deliveries.

Their partnership is the third highest for the first wicket in the competition, while this was Agarwal's maiden IPL century.

POORAN TAKES OFF

Samson appeared to have hit Murugan Ashwin for six when he launched the spinner deep to midwicket in the eighth over of the Royals' innings.

However, Pooran had other ideas. Leaping backwards beyond the boundary, he managed to catch the ball before flicking it back into play prior to him hitting the ground, timing the release to perfection.

COTTRELL GOES THE DISTANCE

Tewatia, whose solitary over with the ball went for 19 runs, had 17 to his name from 23 balls at one stage. Then, with 51 required from the final three overs, everything changed - most notably his strike-rate.

He certainly took a liking to Cottrell's bowling, turning what appeared to be a tall order into a straightforward equation.

A solitary dot ball spared the left-armer completing the unwanted full set of sixes in the over, but the sudden onslaught turned the game at a crucial stage. 

Australia coach Justin Langer has admitted the team could have discussed continuing a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, during the ongoing tour of England, but insists there was no disrespect or disregard meant.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was recently critical of both teams, as he pointed out that they had ditched the symbolic taking a knee gesture during the ongoing series. England and the West Indies showed support for the movement before all three Tests at the start of the season, and the practice continued for the one-day series against Ireland. It has not been seen for the visits of Pakistan and Australia.

While insisting that the team had not forgotten the issue, Langer pointed out that Australia had simply been focused on the series and unusual circumstances, but that in retrospect there could have been more discussions surrounding the issue.

“When Mikey says what he says, it’s certainly worth listening to. In terms of taking a knee, to be completely honest, we could have talked more about it perhaps leading up to the first game,” Langer said.

“There was so much going on leading up to us getting here, maybe we should have talked more about it,” he added.

“What we do talk about within the team was that we want to have a response that is sustained and powerful and that it can go not just in one action but a sustained period. Not just throughout this series and the summer but throughout time.

“I just hope if it looked like there was a lack of respect, it wasn’t the intention of our team. We were very aware of it.”

England pace bowler Jofra Archer had issued a much sharper response, insisting that England had not forgotten the issue and that Holding should have “done his research”.

Australia suffered another batting collapse as England fought back from the brink to draw level in their ODI series with a brilliant 24-run victory at Old Trafford.

Eoin Morgan's side came back in thrilling fashion in the opening Twenty20 against Australia earlier in September, and the tourists snatched defeat from what looked set at one point to be a comfortable triumph in Manchester.

Four wickets – one from Jofra Archer (3-34) and three from Chris Woakes (3-32) – in a fantastic five-over spell in the middle of Australia's innings reduced Justin Langer's side from 142-2 to 147-6.

Australia's collapse came on the back of a strong start from Aaron Finch (73), whose side had ripped through England's top order after Morgan elected to bat first.

Adam Zampa (3-36) was the pick of Australia's bowling attack, which had England on the ropes until a stand of 76 between Tom Curran (37) and Adil Rashid (35 not out) helped the hosts finish on 231-9.

Yet despite Finch and Marnus Labuschagne (48) looked to be ticking Australia towards a series win, England rallied – Sam Curran (3-35) wrapping up the victory after Woakes and Archer dismantled the tourists' middle-order.

 

Jofra Archer pointed out he is not a robot after the England fast bowler's pace levels were again called into question on day two of the first Test against Pakistan.

The hosts reached stumps on 92-4 at Old Trafford, with Ollie Pope's unbeaten 46 the clearest note of defiance against a superb opening burst from Pakistan's seamers – Mohammad Abbas the pick with 2-24 after bowling Ben Stokes for a duck.

A career-best 156 from Shan Masood did most of the heavy lifting in the tourists' 326 all out, in which Archer and Stuart Broad took three wickets apiece.

However, in between scything a brilliant ball through the defences of Shan's opening partner Abid Ali on the first morning and removing tailenders Yasir Shah and Abbas, much of Archer's work was pedestrian.

He rarely looked like pushing the speed gun beyond 90 miles per hour as he did notably during last year's thrilling Ashes duel with Steve Smith.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the day's play, Archer said he was not purposefully bowling within himself but added a track taking spin on the second day in Manchester was not one on which a fast bowler should "bend your back".

"It's not deliberate. Not every day are you going to come in and bowl 90 miles per hour," he said.

"I seen the guy [Naseem] Shah started bowling 90 today, so we'll see how he goes later on tomorrow.

"No one's robots, so I'll be very interested to see what he can produce a bit later.

"This wicket is not really one you're going to try and bend your back on. We bowled first, there was a little bit there in the morning but it's spinning on day two so that says a lot about the wicket right now."

Captain Joe Root – who fell cutting at leg-spinner Yasir for 14 – has been accused of over-bowling Archer in his still-fledgling Test career, but he went almost two hours without turning to his strike bowler as Pakistan threatened to get away from England during the middle session.

"If you looked at the time, it was approaching the [second] new ball and I think he just wanted all of the bowlers fresh," an unperturbed Archer observed.

"Obviously there was a time last night when I probably got off the hook as well. The umpire said it was a bit too dark.

"He probably did want to bowl me last night as well. He didn't want to bowl me after the break but I guess the captain knows best.

"We've got more than enough bowlers here to do a job. I wouldn't be upset at all."

Archer returned to the England XI for last month's series-clinching win over West Indies after being ruled out of the second Test for violating bio-secure protocols.

In a column for the Daily Mail, Archer detailed his resulting mental anguish and, asked whether he had put that episode behind him, he added: "I hope so… yeah, I definitely did. I'm just glad to be back playing out playing again."

Joe Root recalled Jofra Archer and James Anderson to an England team a batsman light due to Ben Stokes' injury concerns.

England face West Indies in the third and final Test at Old Trafford on Friday needing to win to regain the Wisden Trophy.

As for the second match, Root has altered his attack, although Mark Wood again misses out.

Archer - unable to play last time out after breaching biosecurity protocols - and Anderson are back, meaning Sam Curran makes way.

But with Stokes managing an injury, number three Zak Crawley has also dropped out to get the extra bowler in, seeing the rest of the order shift up.

That batting order was swiftly tested after Windies captain Jason Holder won the toss and, as in the previous match, opted to bowl first.

"We've balanced the side out as best we can and I actually feel like we've got a very good, well balanced team. I'm not worried about that at all," Root said, before quickly finding himself in the middle when Kemar Roach dismissed Dom Sibley lbw for a duck in the first over.

Of Archer's return, the captain added: "Jofra's ready to play. Over the last couple of days, he's got his smile back and bowled with real pace in the nets.

"He knows he's got the full support of the dressing room and the guys around him. We're really looking forward to him getting back out there and showing everyone how talented he is."

On the possibilty of Stokes bowling, Root said: "We'll have to see how things go. We can monitor that as the game progresses. But we have to make sure we look after him as best as possible."

Stokes - now the ICC's top-ranked all-rounder - revealed he had "been better" and was still unsure of the nature of the injury.

He said: "It's going to be a day by day thing. I was a little bit worried I wouldn't be able to offer everything I could with the ball, especially in the first innings."

The Windies have also made a change, meanwhile, bringing in spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for Alzarri Joseph in a match they need only to draw to retain the trophy.

Rain is forecast on four days in Manchester.

Joe Root admits it will be a major test of his captaincy to rein in Ben Stokes and ensure England do not place too great a burden on their talisman.

England are toying with deploying Stokes as a specialist batsman and taking bowling responsibilities off the Durham all-rounder for the series decider against West Indies.

The third Test gets under way on Friday at Old Trafford, the same venue where Stokes' brilliance paved the way for England's 113-run victory in the second match of the series.

Stokes is carrying a niggle that England would hate to become anything more serious, but Root knows just how difficult it will be to prise away any responsibility from the 29-year-old, who scored 254 runs in the previous contest and took three wickets.

"He wants to affect the game. That's the beauty of him," Root said. "He's desperate to be the man to turn things around and to win you the game."

Stokes has the ability to decide matches with bat or ball, but England have a lot of cricket to come in the weeks and months ahead, which is why Root is determined to at least not over-stretch him.

"There were a few occasions where I did check in with him first and second innings [in the second Test] and I said 'I think that’s enough' and he wanted one more [over]," Root said.

"He has matured as a player now and you sometimes have to put trust in a player to tell you when enough's enough.

"I feel like he's in a place where he can do that. That's the sort of commitment that you want to see from senior players and it feeds down into the rest of the group.

"He's definitely okay to play as a batsman. It's just how much of an impact he can have with the ball.

"We want to make sure we get the best out of Ben and I'm sure he wants to ride a wave.

"And it must be quite difficult when you're playing as well as he is to maybe have to rein it back in now and again. It is important that he's looked after."

Should Stokes let others take the bowling strain, it will mean England either going in with one fewer bowling option, or sacrificing a batsman to bring in another seamer.

They have abundant options, with Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood vying for places with the pace attack from the second Test: Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran.

Root knows he cannot pick all six, and culling players could be particularly tough, given how close the skipper is to some members of the squad.

"It shouldn't come down to them being your mate or not," Root said. "If guys are upset and annoyed about it, that shows that they care and if they're annoyed with me for a few days then I have to deal with that."

Archer's inclusion in the 14-man squad reflects an eagerness to get back on the field, having been sidelined for the second Test after breaching strict protocol rules between the first Test in Southampton and England's current residency in Manchester by briefly returning to his Hove flat.

Root condemned as "disgusting" the social media abuse that Archer has faced recently, and stressed the Sussex quick has his full backing.

"I've had some good conversations with Jofra. It is important he's in a mentally good enough place to play the game," Root said. "We're all here to support him. I'm very excited to see him smiling and enjoying his cricket."

While understandable attention surrounds Archer, it could yet come down to the tried and tested partnership of Anderson and Broad opening the bowling for England.

"It's exciting to know there's pretty much 1,000 wickets between them and they could be leading the attack," Root said. "They're two of our best cricketers of all time and I feel they've got a lot left in both of them."

Ben Stokes could be forced out of England's bowling plans for the third Test against West Indies but Jofra Archer is delivering the ball "at the speed of light".

That was the verdict of captain Joe Root on Thursday as he readied the home team for the series decider at Old Trafford.

Talisman Stokes bowled 27.4 overs across two innings in the second Test, picking up three valuable wickets, as well as making 176 and 78 not out with the bat.

But England are determined to protect their star all-rounder and that may means he is selected as a specialist batsman on Friday morning.

"We'll have to be really clear on where Ben's at - he's still feeling it a little bit on his quad, so we're making sure he's fit to bowl and if not that might change how we go with things slightly," Root said.

"He pretty much spent the whole time on the field [in the second Test]. It was a long old game for him, but it does take a lot to keep him down and to take him out of the action.

"We'll see how he is in the morning and if you look at the squad of players we've got, we've got plenty of brilliant options.

"I feel like whatever combination we decide to go with will definitely be worthy of taking 20 wickets."

Quicks Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood come back into the picture for the third Test, providing competition for Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad and Sam Curran in a 14-man squad.

Root explained Archer is raring to go and said the recent online racist abuse suffered by the Sussex paceman had been "disgusting".

Archer, who missed the second Test after breaching strict protocols on the team's bio-secure environment, said in a newspaper column he reported the racist abuse to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Root said: "He's got his smile back. He's been bowling at the speed of light.

"It was disgusting to see some of the stuff he's had to put up with over the last week. As a squad we've tried to get round him and let him know we're all there for him.

"No-one should have to go through anything like that. There's no other word other than disgusting really."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reported racist abuse received by Jofra Archer on social media.

Archer was forced to sit out England's series-tying victory over West Indies in the second Test at Old Trafford after breaking COVID-19 protocols.

The fast bowler made an unauthorised trip to his Brighton home en route from Southampton – where the Windies took a 1-0 lead in the series – to Manchester last week.

After accepting a fine, understood to be in the region of his £15,000 match fee, and a written warning, Archer is available to take part in the series decider that begins on Friday.

In a column for the Daily Mail, the 25-year-old said he had endured an "extremely tough" week in relation to the fallout from actions that forced him to spend five days in isolation in a hotel room – a situation compounded by sickening online abuse.

"Some of the abuse I have taken over the past few days on Instagram has been racist and I have decided that enough is enough," Archer said.

"Since Wilfried Zaha, the Crystal Palace footballer, was abused by a 12-year-old online I drew a line and I will not allow anything to pass, so I have forwarded on my complaints to the ECB and that will go through the correct process."

A statement released by the ECB on Wednesday read: “The racist message was brought to our attention by Jofra Archer last week.

"We are supporting him and we have reported the message through the appropriate channels and authorities."

Archer thanked England captain Joe Root and vice-captain Ben Stokes for supporting him following his indiscretion but conceded he was unsure whether he would be mentally ready to compete in the third Test.

"I found I was struggling for motivation in the circumstances when it came to returning to bowling in the nets," he said.

"I spoke briefly to the doctor about how I'm feeling and also to Ben Stokes on Monday night.

"Ben tried to advise me on how to deal with being in the spotlight of international sport. He vowed to back me and support me.

"Now, I need to be 100 per cent mentally right so that I can throw myself into my cricket this week.

"There is a series to win, and after the win in the second match it's there for the taking. We have got amazing depth in the squad, especially now no one is injured, so many options and therefore to do justice to myself and the rest of my team-mates I have to be ready when called upon.

"I give 100 per cent every time I go out there and I don't want to go out on the field unless I can guarantee doing that."

Archer has taken 33 wickets at an average of 28.12 in eight Tests, including three five-wicket hauls. Since making his international debut last year, he has claimed 58 wickets in all formats.

Last November, he was racially abused by a spectator when England played New Zealand in Mount Maunganui. A 28-year-old man who admitted to the offence was banned from attending international and domestic cricket matches in New Zealand for two years.

Throughout the three-Test series, which is being played behind closed doors, England and West Indies players are wearing the "Black Lives Matter" logo on their kits.

I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realise that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 

Sorry is just not enough Jofra!

England fast bowler Jofra Archer has been fined, and given a written warning, after breaching bio-secure protocols ahead of the second #raisethebat Test against the West Indies. Despite numerous efforts to educate players on the dangers of the coronavirus and ensure their safety, Archer made an unauthorized trip to his home, in Hove, after the first Test at Southampton's Ageas Bowl.

 As a result, the bowler was excluded from the England squad for the second Test, at Emirates, Old Trafford, and is in isolation.  The 25-year-old has apologised for his conduct; "I am extremely sorry for what I have done. I have put, not only myself, but the whole team and management in danger. I fully accept the consequences of my actions, and I want to sincerely apologise to everyone in the bio-secure bubble.

 "It deeply pains me to be missing the Test match, especially with the series poised. I feel like I have let both teams down, and again I am sorry."

Saying sorry is not enough. Changed behavior is what is required moving forward. There are those arguing that he is young. However, twenty-five years is old enough to understand the severity of the coronavirus.  Archer’s action was selfish in many ways. Despite being briefed on the protocols and being aware of the dangers of the coronavirus, he put the health and safety of the team in jeopardy. Apart from health and safety concerns, which is enough to call off the series and put the organisers time and effort to waste, he let down his team and fans who waited months to see live sport again.

Archer, who took three wickets in the Southampton Test, which England lost by four wickets, was omitted from the squad to face West Indies in the crucial Manchester Test. Again, his selfishness put his team’s game plan into disarray, while costing him a place in the squad; a test match that they must win in order to stay in the series.

Following Archer’s selfish actions, England are now considering releasing players from the bio secure bubble before the series against Pakistan. This will be done in order to avoid the temptation to breach guidelines like Archer did when he took a 130-mile detour to go home on Monday.

 

 Is it time to revisit the financial fair play regulations (FFP)?

Manchester City’s two-year ban from UEFA competitions was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and is proof that the governing body's Financial Fair Play project needs reexamination. It was created to ensure balance between rich and poor clubs. Has it done that? The answer is no.

After CAS announced their verdict on Monday, under which City must still pay a €10million fine – reduced from €30m – for failing to co-operate with the investigation, UEFA issued a statement saying they are “committed to the principles" of FFP. How much of FFP is worth saving? How effective has it been?

Not much has been done in redressing the competitive balance. Those who earn more spend more, and in doing so, dominate on the field in most competitions. Bayern Munich won their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title this season, Juventus are on course for a ninth-straight Scudetto, while in Ligue 1, PSG were crowned champions for the seventh time in eight years. It is evident that clubs with money continue to hold a lot of power.

The CAS ruling is a chance for UEFA to re-visit the FFP rules, especially the time factor issue. The Swiss-based court said a number of the allegations against City were time-barred under UEFA's own rules, which means cases more than five years old cannot be punished. The ruling clearly points to the immediate future of FFP if it is not rectified or improved.

A softening of regulations was announced last month to help ease the financial pressure on clubs due to the coronavirus pandemic.  However, UEFA needs to remember the main reason these regulations were created; to ensure balance with rich and poor clubs, that balance has been lost or should I say it was never achieved.

    The regulations are not specific or clear, especially around sponsorship deals, stadium infrastructure, and youth development and needs revisiting if it is to achieve its true purpose. Despite calls to eradicate FFP completely, UEFA needs some form of financial control within the game but that doesn’t appear to be FFP in its current format.

 

  Is LeBron upset that he was not consulted in selecting social justice messages?

Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis have stated they will not be wearing social justice messages on the back of their playing shirts, when the NBA restarts on July 30, in Orlando, after the break due to COVID-19.

LeBron revealed in a Zoom call with the media that he prefers wearing his own name on the back of his jersey, rather than one of the NBA-approved social justice slogans. He explained that it does not resonate with his mission and he would have loved to contribute to what went on the back of his jersey but he was not included in the consultation process.

The NBA's approved social justice messages are: Black Lives Matter, Say Their Names, Vote, I Can't Breathe, Justice, Peace, Equality, Freedom, Enough, Power to the People, Justice Now, Say Her Name, Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can), Liberation, See Us, Hear Us, Respect Us, Love Us, Listen, Listen to Us, Stand Up, Ally, Anti-Racist, I Am A Man, Speak Up, How Many More, Group.

Le Bron’s refusal to wear a social justice message was surprising as he is often outspoken on causes that are dear to him. What else is surprising is the NBA not consulting him on possible messages.  Social justice messages or not, the Black Lives Matter movement has gathered momentum and will continue to have an impact. The key however is education and awareness.

Former West Indies T20 captain, Carlos Brathwaite, says that while he understands that everybody, sports stars or not, has a life to live, he is still disappointed with Jofra Archer.

Brathwaite was speaking about Archer’s decision to visit his home in between the first and second Test in the #raisethebat Series against the West Indies.

Archer’s decision saw him miss the second Test which is headed to day four after Saturday was rained out.

The England pacer was fined by the English Cricket Board on Saturday but can play in the third Test if he tests negative for COVID-19.

For me, as a personal friend, I'm disappointed, not only in what Jofra's done but the scrutiny you get from the media,” said Brathwaite. 

According to Brathwaite, Archer has not done any favours to his image, though he believes the paceman is generally misunderstood.

“There has been talk before about his attitude and his laissez-faire way of going about things, which often discredits what he does on the field,” said Brathwaite.

“I just want to see his cricket do the talking, more than the concerns - which I think are misplaced - about his character. His tweeting, his social media, his quirky posts: that is Jofra Archer,” said Brathwaite.

Still, Brathwaite believes that there needs to be less pressure on athletes to be perfect and it must be remembered they are humans.

“As a cricketer myself, there are things outside of cricket that people would not agree with. People look to cricketers to set examples in life.

“He's not there for your son or daughter to look up to. He's there to live his life and do what he does best,” said Brathwaite.

The all-rounder wants it to be understood though, that even though he believes sportsmen get too much of a hard time, Archer still needs to be more responsible.

“That said, it does not excuse what he does. It's disappointing for me, as a personal friend, the backlash he will get.”

West Indies fast-bowling legend has laid into Jofra Archer after the England pacer flouted the bio-secure protocols and was dropped from the team for the second Test in the #raisethebat series at Old Trafford.

There was no play on today’s third day because of persistent rain, with England having batted for the majority of the two days prior.

With the West Indies leading the series 1-0, scores in the second Test are England 469-9 declared and the West Indies 32-1.

“I have no sympathy at all. I don't understand why people can't just do what is required,' Holding said during an interview with Sky Sports.

According to the Sky Sports commentator and pundit, the sacrifices the teams have had to make to make the series a reality are relatively small and should not elicit actions such as Archer’s.

Archer, during his trip from Southampton where the first Test was played to Manchester for the second, rerouted to his house before making his way to the venue.

The pacer was forced to miss the Test as he had to self-quarantine and has since been fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ahead of the possibility of playing in the third Test should he test negative for COVID-19.

“Talking about sacrifices - Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in a little cell and he did nothing wrong - that is a sacrifice,” said Holding.

Holding did not have kind words for the ECB either, suggesting they hadn’t thought all the protocols for the series out well enough.

“Why aren't the England team travelling on a bus? If they have already passed the COVID test and everyone is together, they have six matches and are moving from one venue to another, why aren't they just all on a bus?” Holding questioned.

“Why are they allowed to travel by car? People need to just think a bit,” said Holding.

Jofra Archer has been fined an undisclosed amount and given a written warning for breaching England's bio-secure team protocols by visiting his home.

The England pace bowler, who claimed figures of 3-106 in the first Test against the West Indies, was dropped for the second Test after it emerged he broke rules aimed at reducing the risk of coronavirus infection.

Archer said he was "extremely sorry" for putting "the whole team and management in danger" through an unsanctioned visit to his home in Hove on Monday.

The 25-year-old is expected to rejoin the squad on Tuesday, July 21, after the second Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford is concluded.

In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said: "Following a disciplinary hearing held on Friday, July 17, England cricketer Jofra Archer has been fined an undisclosed amount and received an official written warning after admitting to breaching the team's bio-secure protocols on Monday July 13 when he made an unauthorised visit to his home in Hove.

"Archer was withdrawn from England's second Test squad against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford and is commencing five days of isolation at the venue. He will undergo two COVID-19 tests in this period, which have to test negative before his self-isolation period is lifted. He is due to rejoin the rest of the squad on Tuesday July 21.

"The hearing was chaired by Ashley Giles, Managing Director, England Men's Cricket and included Archer's agent and a representative from the Professional Cricketers' Association."

The West Indies won the first of the three-match series in Southampton by four wickets.

Ben Stokes vowed the England team would support Jofra Archer after the bowler's coronavirus breach saw him excluded for the second Test against West Indies.

Archer, one of the heroes of England's Cricket World Cup triumph last July, made an unauthorised trip home between the first and second Tests to see an unnamed person, breaking the protocols put in place for the games at bio-secure arenas.

England announced Archer would need to self-isolate for five days and could therefore not take his place in the XI when the second Test began at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The team's managing director Ashley Giles claimed "it could have been a disaster" that cost the England and Wales Cricket Board "tens of millions of pounds" as international cricket adjusts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet Stokes - himself no stranger to attracting headlines away from the field following a fight in Bristol in 2017 - stressed Archer will not be hung out to dry by the squad.

"I think from us as players and as England Cricket group, this is a time where our way of operating really needs to come through," said Stokes, who was later cleared of affray following the incident in Bristol.

"We really need to be there to support Jofra right now because obviously he's a big talking point.

"Obviously he is by himself because of everything else going on at the moment but it's making sure he doesn't feel like he's by himself. The worst thing we can do right now as a team is to just sort of leave him and see him in five or six days' time and then say, 'Alright'.

"Times like these for people are very, very tough and you can feel like you are all by yourself but I don't think anybody is going to allow that to happen.

"Jofra is a massive part of this group, as everybody is. If it was anybody else bar Jofra it would be the exact same way of handling it that we would do as a team.

"It's all good being there for people when things are going well but what really comes through is how you operate with someone when they need you the most."

Stokes was once again instrumental on the second day at Old Trafford, scoring 176 - his 10th Test century - as England made 469-9 declared before having West Indies 32-1 in the 14 overs before stumps.

The all-rounder made 260 alongside opener Dom Sibley, whose patient 120 might have silenced some critics following his struggles in Southampton, where he was out for a duck but went on to make a second-innings half-century.

"It's great signs for us going forward that all the noise around him after Southampton literally hasn't affected him whatsoever," Stokes added.

"It's a great way to respond to any criticism that there was by going out and banging 100."

Jofra Archer's unauthorised trip home between England's first and second Tests against West Indies could have cost the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) "tens of millions", according to Ashley Giles.

It was confirmed on Thursday before the second Test between England and the Windies that Archer had been excluded after breaking coronavirus protocols.

The three-match series is currently taking place at bio-secure stadiums to try and prevent anyone from either team coming into contact with COVID-19, and the players had been ordered to travel directly from Southampton to Manchester following the conclusion of the first Test.

However, Archer ignored those directives and went home to Brighton to visit an unnamed person before arriving in Manchester, where he is now undergoing a five-day period of self-isolation.

Though the person Archer met has since tested negative for coronavirus, England's managing director Giles stressed the ramifications of his actions could have been enormous for the ECB's financial health ahead of another Test series with Pakistan.

"This could have been a disaster," Giles said.

"A small act, the ripple effect this could have had through the whole summer could have cost us tens of millions of pounds.

"Hopefully we can look back on it and Jofra can learn from it, and he will learn from it, I'm sure.

"The potential knock-on effect I don't think he could have understood. I think we made it very clear what we expected and what the protocols mean but maybe he didn't quite understand what the consequences could be."

Giles would not comment on whether Archer will be under consideration to return for the third Test but revealed the 25-year-old will be the subject of an internal disciplinary process.

"We trust these men, whether they're old or not, to make the right decisions," he added.

"If you know what the protocols say and what's expected of you, it's a simple choice. I don't think we can cover every eventuality in or out of the bubble for people making wrong decisions.

"Show me someone who says they've never had a mistake and I'll show you a liar. We've all made mistakes in our lives and Jofra's a young man. He will learn from it, we will support him through it and he'll move on."

Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes made patient half-centuries to build a strong platform England on an attritional day one of the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford.

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