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Jofra Archer shows promise in low-key comeback ahead of T20 World Cup

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London, May 18 (IANS) The England white-ball team got some good news on Saturday as pacer Jofra Archer made an appearance for Sussex's second XI as he amped up preparations for the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, which is set to start on June 1 in the USA and the West Indies. Archer was named in England's T20 World Cup squad for the tournament beginning next month but has very little professional cricket up his sleeve after the stress fracture that saw him sidelined last year.

In a lively spell for Sussex's second XI, after being parachuted in for the fourth day's play, Archer took a wicket in six impressive overs, said a report on icc-cricket.com.

Archer last played for England on the tours of South Africa and Bangladesh in 2023, after missing England's title-winning T20 World Cup campaign in 2022, but even then he was on a comeback trail.

Archer hit his straps in terms of pace and bounce, and his sharp spell strengthened the belief that the seamer could finally be ready for some international action when England take on Pakistan next week in a bilateral series ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Skipper Jos Buttler was pleased with Archer's showing but chose to play down expectations around Archer ahead of the big tournament.

"Everyone knows what he is capable of and the attitude he possesses," Buttler told the PA Media. "As a captain, he is someone you can always turn to in a game because he always has a trick up his sleeve.

"It's great to be able to call on him but it's important to manage expectations. He has been out of it for a while now so we will need to look after him and realise that it might just take him a little while to be the Jofra of 2019," he added.

"He is a proper superstar, but we do have to be smart with him. It's a jump in intensity from what he's doing now to international cricket and you can't really replicate it," Buttler concluded.

England are drawn in Group B at the T20 World Cup alongside Australia, Namibia, Scotland and Oman.

--IANS

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