Jofra Archer has revealed he was in "excruciating" pain as he battled a side injury during the second half of the World Cup. The tournament finished with him bowling the dramatic tied Super Over that enabled England to win the title on boundary countback.
Archer sustained the injury against Afghanistan, England's fifth match of the tournament, and needed constant painkillers to make it through the rest of the competition. The management may have had an eye on resting him at some stage during the group matches, but England's mid-tournament wobble, where they lost consecutive matches against Sri Lanka and Australia, left them in virtually a must-win scenario against India and New Zealand.
Archer then managed to produce one of his most impressive performances in the semi-final against Australia, trapping Aaron Finch lbw with his first ball to set the tone for a dominant victory, before his scarcely believable role in the final. He finished with 20 wickets in the tournament, a record for an England bowler in World Cups.
"It was pretty excruciating," he told BBC Sussex about the side injury. "I'm fortunate it's settled quickly. It was pretty bad. I couldn't do it without painkillers, which was from the Afghanistan game onwards. I couldn't get a week's rest in during the tournament because of how close the games were. I only ever needed a week to 10 days."
Archer was given time off after the World Cup to recover physically and mentally from a dramatic start to his international career which only began in May. He didn't take part in England's pre-Test training camp and was allowed to head back home to Barbados for a holiday. He returned to action for Sussex in the T20 Blast on Friday evening and took 2 for 21 in another tied match ahead of England naming their squad on Saturday for the first Test against Australia.
After the World Cup there had been a suggestion he may be held back until the second Ashes Test at Lord's and given the strength of England's pace-bowling resources that could remain an option but Archer, who has 131 first-class wickets at 23.44, is desperate to get his hands on the red ball.
"I'm just ready to go out there and show the guys what I can do with a red ball," he said. "I think my red-ball record is better than my white-ball record, so I just can't wait to get the opportunity."
Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes combined to bowl England to victory against Ireland at Lord's, demolishing the visitors' second innings for 38, while Sam Curran and debutant Olly Stone took three wickets apiece in the first innings. James Anderson missed the match as he recovers from a calf strain but there is confidence he will be available for Edgbaston.