England paceman Jofra Archer has revealed he received racist abuse on social media for breaching the team’s bio-secure protocols.
Archer was removed from the England squad ahead of the second Test against the West Indies in Manchester last week after leaving the team’s bio-bubble to see his girlfriend.
The England players were allowed to travel by car from Southampton to Manchester, instead of bus, where Archer broke the rules in the process. As a result he missed the clash at Old Trafford and had to self-isolate for five days, while undergoing two Covid-19 tests, which had to return negative for him to be allowed back into the set-up.
The fast bowler was cleared on Monday and met up with his teammates ahead of Friday’s all-important third Test, but Archer admits that he might not be mentally ready to do battle, given the abuse he copped for his actions.
‘Some of the abuse I have taken over the past few days on Instagram has been racist and I have decided that enough is enough,’ Archer wrote in the Daily Mail.
‘I have forwarded on my complaints to the ECB and that will go through the correct process. This whole week has been extremely tough and to spend five days in isolation has given me a lot of thinking time on where I am at.
‘I give 100 per cent every time I go out there and I don’t want to go out on the field unless I can guarantee doing that,’ he added.
Archer was fined and given a written warning by the ECB for putting the team’s health in danger, while he also apologised to his fellow teammates, who, he admits, have been very supportive of his situation.
‘I spoke briefly to the doctor about how I’m feeling and also to Ben Stokes on Monday night,’ Archer said.
‘Ben tried to advise me on how to deal with being in the spotlight of international sport. He vowed to back me and support me.
‘Now, I need to be 100 per cent mentally right so that I can throw myself into my cricket this week. I have done my time, it’s over, and I am trying to move on.
‘I know what I did was an error of judgement and I have suffered the consequences of that. I haven’t committed a crime and I want to start feeling myself again,’ he added.
With the series now levelled at 1-1, England and the West Indies will have all to play for when action gets under way at Old Trafford on Friday.
The hosts, though, will face a tricky selection battle in terms of their fast bowlers after Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran did an excellent job in the second Test. Along with Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood are also be available again after being rested for the second encounter, which will make for challenging selection.