Rajasthan Royals remain hopeful that Jofra Archer can play in the Indian Premier League despite the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealing he would miss the tournament.

The ECB on Friday stated that paceman Archer has been ruled out of England's Test tour of Sri Lanka and the IPL due to a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow.

Archer is due to commence a rehabilitation programme with the ECB medical team with a view to facing West Indies in a three-match Test series in June.

Yet the Royals, who signed the quick for 7.2 crore (£800,000) in the 2018 IPL auction, have not given up hope of Archer playing in a tournament that gets under way at the end of March and finishes on May 24.

Rajasthan head coach Andrew McDonald told ESPNcricinfo: "It is a blow but these things always confront teams. These are the setbacks that you have to contend with.

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with Jofra. Getting an elbow injury when you are at the top of your game is far from ideal, but watching him from afar it's been great to see what he's been able to achieve.

"We'll see what happens. The ECB have been reasonably solid on ruling him out of the IPL, but we still hold out some hope that he may recover.

"We'll get those details over the next 24-48 hours as to the extent of the injury, and we'll work with the ECB as to what that may or may not look like.

"I'm sure he's keen [to play in the IPL]. He loves playing for Rajasthan, but injuries happen, and until more details come to light, we will always hold out hope for a player of that quality.

"It doesn't look good at the moment, but we won't be in any rush to replace him at this moment in time."

Jofra Archer will miss England's Test tour of Sri Lanka after it was confirmed the paceman has sustained a low-grade stress fracture to his right elbow.

The lightning-quick seamer missed the final three matches of England's four-match Test series in South Africa and was already ruled out of the ODIs and Twenty20 fixtures against the Proteas.

Archer underwent further tests on his injury this week and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed he will not travel to Sri Lanka in March.

"Archer underwent further scans on his injured right elbow yesterday in the UK which confirmed a low-grade stress fracture," an ECB statement read.

"He will now commence an injury rehabilitation programme with the ECB medical team with a view to be ready for the international summer campaign starting in June against the West Indies in a three-match Test series."

The 24-year-old will also miss the 2020 Indian Premier League season with the Rajasthan Royals as a result of his injury.

England will hope to have Archer back for the three-match home Test series against the West Indies, which starts on June 4 at the Oval. 

Joe Root's men play two five-day matches in Sri Lanka, the first beginning on March 19.

Joe Root would rank a series win over South Africa as his greatest achievement as England Test captain and believes the "sky is the limit" for his young side.

England head into the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers - which starts on Friday - with a 2-1 lead, having already extended their unbeaten run in away Test series against the Proteas to four.

The tourists have been hit hard by both illness and injuries in South Africa, with James Anderson, Jack Leach and Rory Burns having all returned to England, while paceman Jofra Archer missed the last two Tests with an elbow issue.

Given the circumstances, Root says beating the Proteas in their own backyard would probably go down as his most satisfying accomplishment since taking over as skipper almost three years ago.

"It's been a tour that has thrown everything at us," Root told reporters. "But the whole squad, the players and the coaching staff, have worked tirelessly to make sure we stayed calm and as in control as we could.

"When we've had our opportunities to bounce back, we've really taken them. It's been really pleasing in many ways.

"We're a very young side at the start of something and we've seen some very promising performances. To win three Tests in a row would be a very big achievement for this group.

"A series win here probably would be my proudest achievement as captain, because of the different things we've had to manage throughout this tour.

"We've had injuries and senior players having to fly home and a lot of illness to deal with and we have adapted to very different conditions.

"For a young group of players that has been very pleasing and a sign we're doing the right things. If we can harness that and keep looking to improve then I do think the sky's the limit for this team.

"But we're very much at the start of something here and we're not perfect by any means. We have to keep that attitude and keep driving that forward for a long period of time if we want to get to number one in the world."

Mark Wood came into the side for the third Test and it remains to be seen if he will be able to play back-to-back matches with Archer pushing for a recall.

"It would be nice to see how Archer and Wood go together," Root said.

"It would be a relentless barrage of pace. It would be great to have that extra bit of pace and firepower, but ultimately we've got to hit the right areas as we have done in the last couple of games."

England paceman Jofra Archer staked his claim for a recall for the final Test against South Africa with an impressive showing in the nets on Wednesday.

An elbow injury kept Archer out of victories at Newlands and St George's Park that have given the tourists a 2-1 lead with one match to play at the Wanderers.

The quick could come back into the side in Johannesburg on Friday after catching the eye in practice, while England are monitoring Mark Wood after he played his first Test for 11 months in Port Elizabeth.

England assistant coach Graham Thorpe told talkSPORT: "Jofra had good rhythm and bowled nice and quick today.

"That's where we want Jof to be. He looks good, but he will have to come in again tomorrow and back it up.

"The elbow problem has been a big issue for him. You can't force that, you have to wait for the player to be confident with it.

"Mark Wood hasn't played back-to-back Test matches for a while, but he bowled exceptionally well for us in Port Elizabeth. He bowled at high speeds of 90mph plus and gave us an X-factor. We'll have to see how he is and I'm sure Woody will be really honest with us.

"Historically, it's a pitch which has good carry and pace and generally starts softer then quickens up. It has that carry which bowlers, batters and spinners alike enjoy.

"It would be tough if [spinner Dom] Bess didn't play this Test. He has done himself no harm, though, in the way he has come into the set-up and the way he's bowled.

"He's progressed from the last time I saw him about six months ago and when you perform it gives you confidence. So we won't rush straight into a decision, it'll be nice to have all those options on the table."

Mark Wood was named in England's side for the third Test against South Africa, with Jofra Archer once again unavailable.

Captain Joe Root opted to give the fit-again Wood the nod to replace James Anderson, who sustained a rib injury in the Ben Stokes-inspired victory in Cape Town that levelled the four-match series at 1-1.

Paceman Archer missed out in Port Elizabeth as he continues to battle a troublesome elbow problem, while Wood earned a place over Chris Woakes, who was also in contention.

"Jofra pulled up a little sore with his elbow, but credit to Woody, he's fit and firing and that's an exciting place to be, and two guys up around 90mph is an exciting place for England cricket," Root said. 

"We need to make sure we back up [Cape Town] well."

Wood last played a competitive fixture in England's thrilling Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand in July and underwent knee surgery after the tournament.

The paceman's last Test match was against the West Indies in St Lucia 11 months ago, but Wood insisted he is raring to go.

"I went to La Manga with James Anderson then the fast bowlers' camp. There've been question marks about my fitness, but that last game [in St Lucia] gives me confidence," he said. 

"Short, sharp burst, four-five overs, give it everything I've got. The outfield is quite green so [you have] got to be clever working on the ball and look after it well."

England captain Joe Root pledged not to take any risks over the fitness of pace bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood on the eve of the third Test against South Africa.

A Ben Stokes-inspired England squared the four-match series at one apiece thanks to a thrilling victory on the final session in Cape Town eight days ago.

Glory came at a price, however, with James Anderson ruled out of the remainder of the tour due to a rib problem.

It means a potential opening for Wood or Archer – both of whom are capable of frequently topping 90 mph - providing their own injury complaints are in order.

Archer sat out the previous Test due to an elbow issue, while Wood has not played competitively since England's Cricket World Cup final win over South Africa in June.

"That decision hasn't been made," Root told a news conference, with regards to Anderson's replacement.

"It's important to use [Wednesday's] session and make sure we've got a really clear understanding of where everybody is at.

"We need to find that out and make sure we're really clear going into a five-day game that they are able to stand up to the challenges that will bring, physically and mentally, having not played for a little while.

"It is the sensible thing to do to hold off, get more information on the pitch and more information on where they're at.

"If they've proven themselves to be fit, if they've jumped through every hoop and worked very hard to get back there, you have to give them that opportunity."

Chris Woakes represents an alternative if England opt not to chance Archer or Wood, but there is no doubt selecting either of the speed merchants carries added allure.

Wood's most recent Test outing saw him claim first-innings figures of 5-41 thanks to a searing spell before being named man of the match in a 232-run demolition of West Indies in St Lucia.

"With Mark, if you look at the last summer of cricket he played, he actually got through a lot of cricket injury-free which is testament to how hard he's worked on his rehab and making sure his body can cope with different things. He's been managed well by the medical staff," Root said.

"The reason we've been quite cautious in terms of rushing him back is that history. If he's 100 per cent, bowling at 90mph-plus, the skills he has at that pace are going to cause problems and will be a great asset in Test cricket."

Root confirmed a specialist spinner will feature in the England attack in Port Elizabeth, with Dom Bess expected to keep his place ahead of the uncapped Matt Parkinson after Jack Leach returned home due to illness.

England's difference-maker could once again be Stokes, who was honoured by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as its Player of the Year after a phenomenal 2019 in red and white-ball formats.

"It is hard to say any more superlatives, it is the right decision and it could not really have been anyone else," his captain added.

"The way he has performed across all the formats has been fantastic. In my opinion he is definitely the leading player in the world at the moment."

The supporter who racially abused Jofra Archer during England's Test match in Mount Maunganui has been banned from attending cricket fixtures for two years by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).

England seamer Archer claimed he heard racial insults directed at him during the final day of the first Test, which the hosts won by an innings and 65 runs.

Both NZC and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson apologised to Archer and an investigation was launched by the governing body.

NZC confirmed that police have since spoken to a 28-year-old man from Auckland who admitted being responsible for the abuse, which led to a verbal warning from the authorities.

In addition, NZC have written to the man to inform him he is barred from attending international and domestic fixtures in New Zealand until 2022.

Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes are locked in a battle for a spot in England's bowling attack for the third Test with South Africa. 

Fielding coach Paul Collingwood revealed the trio were all in contention to replace the injured James Anderson in Port Elizabeth.

With the series tied at 1-1, the tourists will hope to build on their impressive 189-run victory in the second Test, with Archer, Wood and Woakes eyeing a spot in the line-up.

"They've an opportunity over the next two training sessions to prove to us they should be the one in the team," said Collingwood.

"It's actually really nice to be able to come into a Test being able to choose from players who are 100 per cent ready to go.

"Here at PE [Port Elizabeth] it's generally a slower pitch, so sometimes having that kind of X-factor can be great.

"Sunday's training session was one of the best we've had for a long time.

"We saw bowlers really running in against the batters. They were really making it difficult for them. If we can do that more often, then our education as a team will grow very strongly and very quickly."

Responding to suggestions that Archer had lost his way after bursting onto the scene with England last year, Collingwood jumped to the 24-year-old's defence.

"He's very early on in his international career," he said. "He hasn't bowled a lot with the Kookaburra ball, which requires a completely different skillset from the Dukes. 

"His main skill is bowling 90 miles per hour plus. We have enough bowlers in and around the county circuit who can bowl at 82 to 85 miles per hour and try to nip it around. 

"You want the likes of Wood and Archer to give you that X-factor.”

The third Test begins on Thursday.

Mark Wood is nearing full fitness and is keen to reignite his speed-gun rivalry with Jofra Archer on England's tour of South Africa.

Durham paceman Wood has not played since the Cricket World Cup final in July, having powered through a side strain to bowl at 95 miles per hour and help his country win the trophy.

The 30-year-old, who also underwent knee surgery during his time out, bowled 35 overs last week and said he will be ready for the third Test in Port Elizabeth, though he could be held back until the final match in Johannesburg.

When he does return, and with James Anderson ruled out for the rest of the series due to a rib injury, Wood wants to resume his competition with Archer.

"I do like the idea of the two of us operating together in a Test match," said Wood. "As long as he's not at mid-off asking me if I'm just warming up when I've bent my back.

"Playing alongside him did spur me on so maybe it will help. We have a friendly rivalry over the speed gun. In the World Cup when I put one up on the speed gun that was quite quick I'd just look over to Jofra and give him a little wink. Then he'd do the same to me.

"In the World Cup final I knew that I'd pipped him. I was clocked at 95.7 miles per hour and he was 95.6 miles per hour and as we came off the field and into the dressing room I was dying to tell him.

"I said to him as he walked in, 'Jofra, I've got you! I've done you on the speed gun!' and he strolled past fresh as a daisy and looked me up and down with an ice pack on my side, an ice pack on my knee and an ice pack on my ankle and just said, 'Yeah, but I think I'd rather be me.' I was like, 'Yeah, fair enough mate'.

"Deep down he's trying to prove that he's the meanest, toughest fast bowler out there. And so am I. We both want each other to do well, but we both want to be the quickest guy on show. But he's more talented than I am."

Wood believes Archer and Chris Woakes are ahead of him in the pecking order but finally feels comfortable with his position in the squad.

"I'm not even in the team at the minute but I feel much happier within myself," he says. "I feel I'm an England cricketer rather than just someone that's always pushing to try and get into the team. I feel a slightly different cricketer to what I did before.

"I have the World Cup and the St Lucia Test [when Wood claimed his maiden five-wicket Test haul] under my belt. The West Indies was a huge trip for me. I really felt I was in the last chance saloon; I'd had a lot of injuries.

"I have felt that if I get fit then there's no reason why I can't do that again. The St Lucia Test is lodged in my mind as one of the best days I've had. If I can replicate that I'll be pretty happy.

"And confidence is a massive thing. Now I know that I can do it. There's been games where I've played for England where I shouldn't have played and that's affected my record and my confidence.

"With those good performances and having some success under my belt, it means that I can go into rehab knowing how it feels when it's good.

"It's not just potential now. I know I can perform. I know now I can deliver if called upon."

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the second Test between South Africa and England at Newlands through injury.

England fast bowler Archer has been unable to recover from an elbow complaint and must now be assessed with regards to his availability for the remainder of the four-match rubber.

The 24-year-old's absence compounds a relentless tale of woe for Joe Root's squad, which has been ravaged by illness for the majority of their tour so far.

One of the victims of the sickness bug, Ollie Pope, is back in after sitting out the opening defeat at Centurion, but England's top scorer in that game, Rory Burns, is out for the rest of the series due to an ankle injury sustained while playing football in training on Thursday.

It means a second Test cap and first as an opener for Kent youngster Zak Crawley, who will face up to the new ball on the first morning after Root won the toss and elected to bat.

Pieter Malan is a debutant at the top of the Proteas order, as expected, with Aiden Markram out for the remaining Tests due to a broken finger.

England will leave it late to make a decision on Jofra Archer's fitness, while Mark Wood and Jack Leach have been ruled out of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.

Archer has been struggling with an elbow injury and the paceman is a doubt for the match in Cape Town, which starts on Friday.

Spinner Leach is not ready for a recall after being badly affected by the sickness bug that has swept through the camp and fast bowler Wood is still recovering from side and knee problems.

Captain Joe Root said when asked about Archer's availability: "It will be another late call.

"Not knowing exactly how Jofra is might change how we balance the side up.

"I think it's a recurring injury and he's had it before. He did pull up very sore [on Wednesday] and seemed to be in a little pain."

The Proteas lead the four-match series 1-0 after securing a 109-run victory at Centurion.

Quinton de Kock does not believe Jofra Archer's possible absence from the second Test between South Africa and England will make a difference to the Proteas' preparations.

De Kock was South Africa's star performer with the bat in their win in the first Test, with his 95 in the first innings providing the hosts with a platform from which to build on after initially succumbing to 97-4.

England paceman Archer struggled to have an impact in South Africa's first innings, finishing with figures of 1-65, though the 24-year-old took 5-102 in his second spell with the ball.

However, there are doubts over whether Archer will be fit to participate in the second Test in Cape Town, as he was unable to bowl on Wednesday due to a sore right elbow, though the fast bowler joined in with fielding drills and did bat in the nets.

De Kock does not foresee a massive change in how South Africa will approach the match even if Archer is not fit, however.

"To be honest, I don't think it changes anything for me at least," De Kock told reporters at Newlands. 

"They'll bring in Mark Wood or something, he also bowls 145kmp/h, so it doesn't really change much.

"Maybe playing on this wicket, pace will be nice to face. We'll have to see what happens, but it doesn't change much for me at least."

South Africa endured a difficult year in 2019, after a disappointing performance at the World Cup and a 3-0 Test series defeat to India.

With their 107-run win at Centurion, however, De Kock says the Proteas' side is now full of confidence heading into the first Test of 2020.

"The guys are very focused at the moment," the wicketkeeper added.

"I'm not saying they weren't focused before, but I think, honestly, the confidence was down and then with this win now the confidence, I wouldn't say it's flying, but it's very high at the moment.

"We've got a great team environment now; some new guys, some very funny guys and some great characters. It's a good environment to be in at the moment. We just need to bring it on to the field also."

Kevin Pietersen says either James Anderson or Stuart Broad should be dropped for the Newlands Test against South Africa, but Jofra Archer is a doubt for England.

England were soundly beaten in the first match of the four-Test series after captain Joe Root won the toss and put the hosts in, South Africa easing to a 107-run victory inside four days.

With Jack Leach among 11 players struck down by illness, England played without a frontline spinner at Centurion but they are expected to rejig their attack for the second Test, which starts on Friday in Cape Town.

Archer took five wickets in South Africa's second innings while Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, managed only a single scalp in each dig on his return to Test action after injury.

However, Archer could not bowl on Wednesday due to a sore right elbow, though the fast bowler joined in with fielding drills and was fit enough to bat in the nets.

Root's side were rolled for 181 and 268 at Centurion and their former star Pietersen feels either Broad or Anderson should be sacrificed to strengthen a struggling batting line-up.

"England HAVE TO drop either Broad or Anderson for Newlands & play another batter, if they want to win...!" the South Africa-born former batsman wrote on Twitter.

Leach's Somerset team-mate Dom Bess is a spinning option for England, while Lancashire's uncapped leggie Matt Parkinson, 23, is also in the squad.

Reports have suggested England are likely to replace Anderson with Bess, with Ollie Pope also in line to return in the middle order at the expense of Jonny Bairstow after recovering from illness.

Jofra Archer was put under pressure by a South Africa team who will not be intimidated by him in Cape Town, according to Proteas coach Mark Boucher.

South Africa halted a five-game losing streak in Tests by beating England by 107 runs on the fourth afternoon in Centurion, with pacemen Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje taking seven of the nine remaining second-innings wickets on offer.

If those two made the most of conditions helpful to fast bowling, the same could not always be said for Archer.

The 24-year-old burst onto the Test scene during this year's Ashes series in England but struggled as Joe Root's men went down in New Zealand last month.

He took the solitary wicket of tailender Keshav Maharaj during South Africa's first innings, while a haul of 5-102 second time around cost a run a ball and was marred by a pair of attempted slow balls at nightwatchman Nortje on the second evening coming out as beamers.

"No, I wouldn't see him as England's greatest threat. He's got a spell in him that can ruffle a few feathers," Boucher said afterwards.

"We were in a position in the game to take him on a bit more. We were playing ahead of the game.

"We're in a position where we understand he's a wicket-taker, he's going to take wickets. But we're also not dartboards.

"I've always encouraged the batter to set up to score and, if there are opportunities to score, you've got to take that."

The second Test begins in Cape Town on January 3, and Boucher said of Archer: "He's under a bit of pressure as well because he was going for quite a few runs. He's a threat, yes, but they've also got quite a few other bowlers who are threats in that line-up.

"I'm pretty happy with the way that we played him. He bowled well in the second innings, bowled with some heat on an up-and-down wicket.

"You expect him to take wickets but I also thought that in moments of the game we put him under pressure as well, which helped us get a very good lead."

Sam Curran was the pick of England's attack during the first innings, while Archer's place should be safe for the second Test.

Should Root wish to select a specialist spinner from his illness-ravaged squad, it could mean either of James Anderson or Stuart Broad making way.

"They've got fantastic records behind them and have produced some fantastic things for England in the very recent past," Root told a post-game news conference.

"You don't want to wish those guys away, looking back and thinking you've forced Jimmy Anderson out. You look at him physically and he's a fantastic specimen. He's got a fantastic record in these conditions, as has Stuart.

"It's a fine balance, you've got to look at the surface and look at the attack that can best counter that and the opposition you come up against.

"If difficult decisions have to be made down the line, they will be. But if they don't, they won't.

"It'd be silly to push fantastic experience and a wealth of knowledge of fast bowling out of the door when there's no need to."

Sam Curran led the way for England as his four-wicket haul helped the visitors restrict South Africa to 277-9 on day one of the first Test at Centurion.

With Ben Stokes unable to bowl due to struggling with illness and dehydration, Curran seized the initiative to reward Joe Root's decision to put the Proteas in after winning the toss.

His dismissal of Quinton de Kock for 95 was crucial, with South Africa's wicketkeeper-batsman having frustrated England after coming in with the hosts wobbling at 97-4.

De Kock had got lucky on his way to a 45-ball fifty; James Anderson, who dismissed Dean Elgar with the first delivery of his 150th Test appearance, missed a difficult chance as Joe Root, England’s spin option in a seam-heavy attack, twice went close.

It was Curran's day, though, as the 21-year-old rounded off a fine performance with the vital breakthrough when a century for the left-hander looked a certainty, giving England the edge at stumps.

Back in action at Test level for the first time since the start of the Ashes in August, Anderson made an instant impact, Elgar caught down leg as he feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Determined not to be outdone, Curran wasted little time in making his mark, taking just four deliveries to draw Aiden Markram into a tame flick that was well caught by Jonny Bairstow.

Faf du Plessis and Zubayr Hamza managed to steady the ship for the home team, though the latter eventually went on 39 to Stuart Broad as South Africa reached lunch on 79-3.

With Jofra Archer and Anderson toiling in the afternoon, Curran was reintroduced – and immediately sent back Rassie van der Dussen, who saw a defensive prod only provide Root with a simple catch at first slip.

South Africa skipper Du Plessis provided his counterpart with a simple catch from Broad's bowling soon after too, leading to De Kock taking an aggressive approach in tricky circumstances.

Riding his luck at times, the 27-year-old cruised to a quick fifty, with Dwaine Pretorius (33) providing some welcome support.

Though Curran ended a sixth-wicket stand worth 87 after the restart, De Kock began to show greater discipline as he continued to drag South Africa up towards 300.

Yet Curran finally had his man when a full delivery nipped away slightly, with a thin edge going through to Buttler. He thought he had a five-for soon after, only for Keshav Maharaj to successfully review an lbw decision thanks to an inside edge.

Archer instead ended Maharaj's short stay at the crease and Kagiso Rabada succumbed to Broad in the closing stages, the fall of the ninth wicket ending proceedings on the opening day.

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