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News

Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer recalled for T20 World Cup

Jamie Overton injury offers route to recall for 35-year-old allrounder, with Hartley also named in 15-man squad

Chris Jordan has been recalled to England's white-ball set-up as part of their provisional T20 World Cup squad, at the expense of Chris Woakes, while Jofra Archer is also included as he prepares to return to competitive cricket after almost a year on the sidelines.
Jordan, whose last international appearance came in September 2023 against New Zealand - the last of his 88 T20I caps - is part of a 15-man group that includes Archer and uncapped Lancashire left arm spinner Tom Hartley. Archer has been passed fit after recovering from a right elbow injury that has kept him out of competitive action since May 2023. Hartley, who shot to prominence earlier this year with 22 wickets against India in his maiden Test series, has been handed the second frontline spinner's berth ahead of Rehan Ahmed.
The inclusion of Jordan and subsequent omission of Woakes are the only surprises in Jos Buttler's squad, charged with defending England's 2022 title. With Jamie Overton ruled out through a back injury, Jordan's capacity to score lower down the order - he has averaged 30.05 and struck at 160.53 in all T20 cricket since the start of the 2023 Vitality Blast - has seen him emerge as an alternative, despite missing the T20I series against West Indies in December, which England lost 3-2. He remains an exceptional fielder and a viable option as a death bowler.
"We've watched CJ for a while now and his bowling has always been a serious factor for us," Rob Key, England's director of cricket, said of Jordan's recall. "The fact that he can bowl at the death has always been something we look for, but his batting seems to have kicked on a bit this time. Having power is a big thing out in the Caribbean, so that's why CJ has comfortably got in there."
On Archer, Key acknowledged that England were still keeping their "fingers crossed" given the extent of his injury setbacks in recent years, which included a stress fracture of the back alongside his long-standing elbow problems. But given the prospect of him playing in front of his friends and family in Barbados, Key was optimistic that the four-match T20I series against Pakistan in May would enable him to hit the ground running.
"Jofra's that bowler that's just so special, you do everything you can to try to get him back playing," he said. "We've taken the longer road this time. But as always with Jofra, it's fingers crossed until he's out there playing. You're waiting for something really good to happen - you don't quite believe it until he's there. But he's tracking well at the moment.
"Hopefully the next step is when he gets into that Pakistan series, it's going to be full-match intensity, and how he keeps going through there. But at the moment we're doing everything we can, and he's in a good spot. And playing in Barbados, as you can imagine, is something Jofra is desperate to do as well."
Woakes has been an ever-present in England's limited-overs set-up, particularly with the new ball in both their 2019 ODI and 2022 T20I World Cup successes. In many ways, his omission, along with Ben Stokes' decision to make himself unavailable for selection, marks the end of an era. Woakes is yet to feature for Punjab Kings at the IPL this season.
Though Key insisted that the door was not closed on Woakes' white-ball career, he made it clear that, in the wake of his Compton-Miller medal-winning exploits in the Ashes last summer, this year's Test series against West Indies and Sri Lanka would be his likelier focus.
"He had an outstanding summer in the Ashes last year so we see him as someone who is going to feature in Test cricket, especially given his ability with the bat in Test cricket where that power is not as important," Key said. "In Test cricket you're going to want a varied attack and he's someone who offers that along with Jimmy Anderson, Matt Potts… he's in that bracket. Chris is very much in our thoughts going forward."
England's batting line-up effectively picks itself in Stokes' absence, with the in-form trio of Jos Buttler, Phil Salt and Will Jacks set to fill the top three berths, with Jonny Bairstow confirmed by Key at No. 4 in the wake of his remarkable 41-ball century for Punjab Kings in their record 262-run chase against Kolkata Knight Riders last week.
All four of those players, plus Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Reece Topley, will miss the end of the IPL, with the selectors stating that the players must fly home on May18-19, ahead of the play-offs, and report for England duty in time for the first T20I against Pakistan at Headingley on May 22. The group will then fly to the Caribbean on May 31, ahead of their opening group match against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.
Key confirmed that the players had known for some time that this was likely to be the case, but that Buttler - who was already due to miss Rajasthan Royals' anticipated play-off campaign due to paternity leave - had been especially keen to get the squad together at the earliest opportunity.
"There are a few newer players coming into this side, so it's important it gets together," Key said. "The likes of Phil Salt, Will Jacks have been around a little bit, but this is now very much their opportunity, with a few others. So you just want them to get together and spend a bit of time and build up to it."
England T20 World Cup squad: Jos Buttler (captain), Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali (vice-captain), Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Tom Hartley, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Reece Topley

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo; Matt Roller is assistant editor