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England vs West Indies: Jofra Archer Available For Third Test Despite COVID Breach

England fast bowler Jofra Archer will be available to play in next week’s third and final Test against the West Indies after being ruled out of the second match for a breach of coronavirus protocols

ngland fast bowler Jofra Archer will be available to play in next week’s third and final Test against the West Indies after being ruled out of the second match for a breach of coronavirus protocols, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Saturday. Both teams have been living in “bio-secure bubble” sites at a Ageas Bowl, a venue for last week’s first Test, and Emirates Old Trafford, where a final two matches of a series are taking place.

Archer broke the rules by going home to Hove on Monday, during which time he met with an unnamed individual from outside the “bubble” following England’s four-wicket loss in the first Test at Southampton last week before the team travelled to Manchester.

He was then left out of the ongoing second Test that started Thursday, with Archer self-isolating in an onsite hotel room at Old Trafford for five days.

A disciplinary hearing chaired by England managing director Ashley Giles on Friday decided an “undisclosed” fine and a written warning amounted to sufficient punishment, with the 25-year-old Archer’s “impeccable record” counting in his favour.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had called for Archer to also be dropped from the third Test.

Archer will now undergo two COVID-19 tests, which have to produce negative results, before his self-isolation period is lifted.

The ECB said Archer was due to rejoin the squad on Tuesday — three days before Friday’s start of the third Test.

But Giles added: “Young men make mistakes… Jof will learn from it.

“We will support him and move on.

Archer also received the backing of England star Ben Stokes, who said after Friday’s play in Manchester: “We really need to be there to support Jofra right now.”

Before the second Test started, Archer apologised by saying he was “extremely sorry”, adding: “I fully accept the consequences of my actions.”

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