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Jofra Archer named in England's provisional squad for Men's T20 World Cup as Chris Jordan also returns

Jofra Archer included in England's provisional T20 World Cup squad despite year out to injury; Rob Key: "Archer is that bowler who is so special that you do everything you can to try and get him back playing"; Watch Men's T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports from June 1-29

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England men's managing director Rob Key says he is optimistic that Jofra Archer can return 'fully firing' after his inclusion in England's T20 World Cup Squad

Jofra Archer has been named in England’s provisional 15-man squad for the Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA this June.

Archer's career has been plagued by injury and he has been limited to 15 T20Is for England since making his debut in 2019, with the 29-year-old missing the 2022 T20 World Cup success in Australia as part of a two-year absence.

The seamer last featured internationally in a tour of Bangladesh last March and has not played competitive cricket since May due to a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow, although has played club cricket in Barbados and featured in pre-season for Sussex to rebuild his fitness.

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Sir Curtly Ambrose has warned it could be a 'disaster' for Jofra Archer if he makes a premature return from injury for the T20 World Cup

The England and Wales Cricket Board had already ruled out Archer returning to Test cricket until 2025 at the earliest, but have now confirmed he has recovered from injury and ready to be part of England's bowling attack for their title defence, live on Sky Sports.

Archer is also included in the squad for the four-match T20 series against Pakistan, beginning on May 22, while changes can still be made to the T20 World Cup squads until the final deadline of May 25.

England's provisional T20 World Cup squad

Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Mark Wood

'Archer so special that you do everything to get him back'

"Jofra is that bowler who is so special that you do everything you can to try and get him back playing," Rob Key, managing director of England men's cricket, said upon the squad announcement. "We've sort of taken the longer road this time but, as always with Jofra, it's fingers-crossed until he's out there playing.

"He's tracking well at the moment and hopefully the next step is when he gets into that Pakistan series, which will be full match intensity and how he goes through that. At the moment we're doing everything we can and he's in a good spot. We're hopeful and confident that he's going to be right."

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Speaking on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton wish Jofra Archer well as he continues his return from injury to lead England's attack at the T20 World Cup

Captain Jos Buttler is one of nine players from the 2022 T20 World Cup success in Australia returning, with Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt and Mark Wood also featuring in England's initial squad.

Buttler's opening partner could be Salt, who posted back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies in December and has impressed for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, with veteran Jordan also recalled after missing out on the winter tour to the Caribbean.

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Stuart Broad believes that Jos Buttler's current form in the IPL will be key for England at the T20 World Cup

Livingstone and Curran will join up from the IPL and Brook, who stepped away from the tournament for personal reasons, features after an impressive start to the County Championship season with Yorkshire.

England's T20 top-order stats in the 2024 Indian Premier League
Image: England's T20 top-order stats in the 2024 Indian Premier League

Will Jacks made a 41-ball century for Royal Challengers Bangalore just days before the provisional squad was decided, while Jonny Bairstow - who had struggled for form over the winter - marked his return to the Punjab Kings with a stunning unbeaten ton as part of a world-record T20 chase.

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Phil Salt smashed England team-mate Sam Curran for back-to-back sixes in the IPL before being bowled next ball

All England players featuring in the IPL are set to return to the UK in time for the Pakistan series, despite the first two T20I matches of that taking place before the IPL final is held on May 26.

Key said: "We're at that point where we think it's important that this team gets together - with a few newer players coming into the side. You just want the players to get together and spend a bit of time building up to it.

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Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain believe England T20 head coach and captain, Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler are 'under scrutiny' at the upcoming World Cup after a disastrous 50-over tournament

"So much of what our white-ball team has done is turn up a couple of days before and 'bang' we're straight into a series. You want people to really start understanding what their roles are, and what your best XI is going to be when we hit Barbados."

Who else features in England squad and who misses out?

Left-armer Tom Hartley is the only uncapped player and will offer support to established spinners Rashid and Moeen, with Wood and Reece Topley - who missed the 2022 T20 World Cup after suffering an ankle injury in the days leading up to the tournament - part of England's bowling options.

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Andrew Flintoff gave a passionate speech to spin bowler Tom Hartley as he presented him with his England ODI cap on debut against Ireland in September

Left-hander Ben Duckett provides England with an extra batter and a player who could fill any spot in the top six, while all-rounder Chris Woakes - part of the dismal 50-over World Cup title defence last autumn - is among the notable names to miss out.

Test captain Ben Stokes had ruled himself out of selection, with his focus being to get himself fit to bowl this summer and return to all-rounder status, while fellow all-rounder Jamie Overton - who has impressed in franchise cricket around the world - isn't included due to a back injury.

Hussain: Archer 'the headline act' for England

England are aiming to become the first team in history to successfully defend their men's T20 World Cup title, with former captains Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain both believing that Archer being fit to feature can enhance those hopes.

"He definitely will improve England's side if he's available, because he's a multi-phase bowler," Atherton told the Sky Sports Cricket podcast. "He can bowl quick with the new ball, he can come on and bowl thunderbolts in the middle of an innings for an over or two if you need it, then clearly has his ability at the death to bowl yorkers.

"I know that England have been accused in the past of slightly rushing him back and they're taking a very softly, softly approach with him this time. It's going to be a year of white ball and T20 cricket only and then, if things go well, next year they'll be thinking about that Test series against India and the precursor to the Ashes in the winter."

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Hussain added: "You'd say that Jofra is the headline act, isn't he? He's the headline there. Completely back into an England squad, play hopefully in some of those four games. I'd be surprised if you played all four against Pakistan, and get ready for the World Cup. It's great to have Jofra back - fingers crossed."

When does England's World Cup defence begin?

Prior to the World Cup, England's four-match T20 series with Pakistan is live on Sky Sports and begins at Headingley on May 22, with further fixtures at Edgbaston (May 25), Cardiff (May 28) and The Oval (May 30).

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England white-ball captain Jos Buttler says his team will be a threat at this summer's T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA

Buttler's side will fly to the Caribbean on May 31 and begin their title defence against Scotland in Barbados on June 4, ahead of playing Australia at the same venue on June 8. They then face Oman in Antigua on June 13 and Namibia in the same place two days later, with the top two from the group then progressing to the Super 8s.

Watch every match from the T20 World Cup, plus England's four-match T20I series at home to Pakistan in May, live on Sky Sports Cricket or stream with NOW.

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