Cricket-Archer unlikely to play red-ball matches before Ashes, says Sussex coach

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes 2019 - Fifth Test - England v Australia - Kia Oval, London, Britain - September 15, 2019 England's Jofra Archer Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) - England fast bowler Jofra Archer is unlikely to play any red-ball matches before the home Ashes series against Australia, Sussex head coach Paul Farbrace said.

Archer, who picked up 22 wickets for England in the 2019 Ashes, has not played a test since February 2021 due to elbow and back injuries.

The 27-year-old pacer made his comeback after 17 months out in late January and will feature for Mumbai in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition, which begins later on Friday, but will not play for Sussex in the County Championship.

"I think, all things being equal, he will go straight into the Ashes off the back of the IPL," Farbrace told British media on Thursday.

"I think their plan is that between IPL games he will then bowl some longer spells to get his overs up and make sure that he is match-ready.

"I know there will be a lot of people saying he should play at least two four-day games to be ready for a test match, but the preparation and the work that the medical teams do around these players is exceptional."

England last won the Ashes in 2015 and suffered a 4-0 drubbing in Australia in the last series.

The first Ashes test will be held at Edgbaston from June 16.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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