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Jofra Archer: Sam Curran believes returning fast bowler brings 'fear factor' for England's opponents

Jofra Archer has not played for England since March 2023 due to a stress fracture in his back, but is set to make his long-awaited return in the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan; watch the first match of the series live on Sky Sports Cricket on Wednesday May 22

England Press Conference and Nets Session - Monday May 20th
England's Jofra Archer during a nets session at Headingley, Leeds ahead of the first T20 International against Pakistan on Wednesday. Picture date: Monday May 20, 2024.
Image: Jofra Archer is set to make his long-awaited international return from injury in England's T20I series against Pakistan

Sam Curran is relishing Jofra Archer’s return to the England team as the reigning T20 World Cup champions begin their final preparations for this year’s tournament.

The 29-year-old pace ace has not featured for the national team since March 2023 due to a stress fracture in his back but made his playing comeback for county side Sussex recently and is in the squad for England's title defence in the Caribbean and USA next month.

Archer is in line to feature in the T20I series against Pakistan, which starts on Wednesday in Leeds live on Sky Sports, as well and fellow seamer Curran is in no doubt what the Barbados-born right-armer brings to the squad.

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Jofra Archer made an impressive return to action for Sussex's second XI claiming a wicket in six overs during Kent's second innings at Beckenham

"It's incredibly exciting," Curran said. "I'm sure any England fans or players will be buzzed to have him back.

"He's such an addition that no side can turn down. He's got that extra pace and that fear factor he can bring to opposition as well.

"It's hugely exciting, we all hope his injuries are behind him, and it will be hugely special going to play in Barbados [during the T20 World Cup] and stuff like that. I think he's excited, and hopefully he'll start well.

"Jof's had a really tough couple of years, so we're all hoping he can bring his A-game back which we know he's got and everyone is just incredibly excited to have a player of his quality back."

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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 at the T20 World Cup

England's four-match series against Pakistan is quickly followed by them heading out to the Caribbean for the T20 World Cup, which sees Jos Buttler's team open with a match against Scotland in Bridgetown on Tuesday, June 4.

Their other Group B fixtures see them take on old rivals Australia (June 8) in Barbados, followed by heading to Antigua to face associate nations Oman (June 13) and Namibia (June 15). The top two teams in the group advance to the Super Eights.

Curran was named player of the tournament when England won the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, including taking 3-12 from his four overs as they beat Pakistan by five wickets in the final at the MCG, and hopes this series against the same opponent can lay the foundations for more success.

"It's probably my proudest career highlight," Curran said. "Everyone asks about that day and it's kind of like a blur.

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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

"You find you're in your bubble and you're doing your best for the team, and that was an incredible day against Pakistan in Melbourne.

"It felt like we played them a lot during the lead into that World Cup and we're doing it again now. Hopefully it's a similar type of way it goes, but it makes for a hugely exciting period."

England vs Pakistan T20I series fixtures

May 22: Headingley, 6.30pm.

May 25: Edgbaston, 2.30pm.

May 28: Sophia Gardens, 6.30pm.

May 30: The Kia Oval, 6.30pm.

Watch all four matches of England's men's T20I series against Pakistan, and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA live on Sky Sports Cricket. Also stream with NOW.

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