England speedster Jofra Archer feared he might not play again after undergoing two bouts of surgery on his troublesome elbow, the 27-year-old said.
Archer has not played international cricket since March last year and had a second round of elbow surgery in December. The time he spent on the sidelines filled him with doubts about his career, said the Barbados-born player.
“In a situation like this, when you are forced to have operations, you do think about whether you are going to play cricket again, whether you’re going to play all formats even,” Archer wrote in his column on Daily Mail.
“But the ECB (English board) gave me the assurance and peace of mind that they wanted me around for a long time. At one point I thought I was going to lose my contract when things weren’t going well.”
Archer is targeting a return in the T20 Blast later this month though he is doubtful for the home series against New Zealand next month under new Test captain Ben Stokes. Archer said playing under Stokes would not feel hugely different to the experience he had when Joe Root led the side.
“If and when I do return, it will be under a new captain in Ben Stokes, not that I think playing will feel much different. Him and Joe Root have been so tight working together that we might not notice the transition and that was certainly the case on the one occasion I played under Stokes’s captaincy against West Indies in Southampton two years ago.”
Like most others, Archer felt that all-rounder Stokes, who served as Root’s deputy, was the obvious choice for the job. “He is the best role model we have in English cricket because he always gives his best for the team and it encourages others to try to do that too. Everyone tries to copy him and raise their standards.”