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Archer's trip home 'could have wiped out summer'



Ground force: Ben Stokes makes a clean connection at Emirates Old Trafford yesterday

Ground force: Ben Stokes makes a clean connection at Emirates Old Trafford yesterday


Dom Sibley shares a joke with West Indies’ Shannon Gabriel

Dom Sibley shares a joke with West Indies’ Shannon Gabriel

Getty Images

Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer


Ground force: Ben Stokes makes a clean connection at Emirates Old Trafford yesterday

Jofra Archer's unauthorised trip to Brighton could have been "a disaster" for English cricket, costing "tens of millions of pounds", according to Ashley Giles.

Giles, managing director of men's cricket at the ECB, suggested that, by breaching the bio-secure bubble in place for the ongoing Test series between England and the West Indies, the pace bowler had risked the entire summer schedule.

Archer went home to Brighton to meet an unnamed individual between the first and second Tests - directly contravening strict guidelines - a fact he revealed to a member of team management on Monday evening.

As well as a mandatory five-day self-isolation at the team hotel within Emirates Old Trafford, Archer faces an internal disciplinary procedure, but the consequences could have been much worse.

"This could have been a disaster. The ripple effect this could have had through the whole summer could have cost us tens of millions of pounds," said Giles.

"The potential knock-on effect, I don't think he could have understood. He is a young man and young men make mistakes. He has to learn from them.

"There will be a disciplinary process to go through.

"A lot is at stake - this match, this series, this summer and, financially, things much bigger beyond that.

"With the help of government and the help of the opposition, in the case of the West Indies, this series was set up with these protocols and we have to abide by them. Everyone has to abide by them.

"If you know what the protocol says and what's expected of you, it's a simple choice. But show me someone who has never made a mistake and I'll show you a liar.

"I don't think trust is something that is lost or gained over one incident."

England head coach Chris Silverwood said: "He's got five days in isolation now, stuck in a hotel room, so we've got to make sure he's all right from a well-being point of view, that we look after him."

Meanwhile, Dom Sibley occupied the crease for the entire opening day of the second Test, joining Ben Stokes in a fine partnership that allowed England to establish a hard-fought position of strength at 207 for three thanks to an unbroken stand of 126.

Sibley set the bar as he made 86 not out from 253 balls, showing endless deliberation over six hours. His methods may have been dull at times, going at essentially a run per over, but they were priceless for his team's standing in the game.

After being sent in to bat 1-0 down, his ability to plug away in stately defence was hugely valuable to the cause. Stokes reached stumps on 59no and will fancy his chances of cashing in on day two.

Both Rory Burns and Zak Crawley will be envious of their occupation, having to face successive deliveries from spinner Roston Chase either side of lunch.

Captain Joe Root, meanwhile, marked his return following the birth of his second child by nicking a booming drive to second slip for 23.

The score was 29 for nought when Holder looked to Chase and it took the all-rounder just two balls to hit the jackpot.

Burns played for spin that never came and was bang to rights, lbw for 15 despite a forlorn referral. That meant Crawley would face the first ball of the afternoon and he promptly got out to it, following the hint of spin and tapping a catch Holder at leg-slip.

After ousting Kent team-mate Joe Denly from the side, it was a poor start to life at number three.

All the while Sibley moved gently on, taking minimal risks and soaking up minutes. His first four came off his 91st ball, Gabriel dropping short and wide enough to invite the uppercut.

Root was busier but less secure and it was his edge through gully that brought up the 50 stand. His eagerness cost him when he looked to pummel Alzarri Joseph through cover only for a thick edge to hit the palms of Holder at second slip.

Sibley was put down by Shamarh Brooks at short leg on 44 just before tea but resumed his work alongside Stokes in the evening, passing 50 off 165 balls with a rare flick for four.

Stokes could not resist the occasional flourish, launching Chase for six down the ground and nailing a series of sweeps, but in between he defended stoutly too. Increasingly, it felt like the soundest decision and the simplest way to tire the West Indian seamers.

Sibley was granted another life on 68, edging a full ball from Gabriel only for Holder to fumble, the low point in a final allow that saw England up the rate just enough to pass the 200 mark before stumps.

Belfast Telegraph