Dubai: Jofra Archer turned into Novak Djokovic of cricket on Thursday when he had to be dropped from the England squad for the second Test for breaking the bio-secure bubble when he drove home to Sussex instead of joining the team straightaway in Manchester. The second Test got underway at the Old Trafford with England being sent into bat.
Lashing out against such so-called irresponsible behaviour, West Indies great Michael Holding said: “I have no sympathy at all. I don’t understand why people can’t just do what is required. Talking about sacrifices - Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in a little cell and he did nothing wrong - that is a sacrifice,” Holding told Sky Sports.
Holding also questioned the protocols put in place by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and stated it should be more ‘logical’. It is being reported that Archer drove to his home in Sussex as other players made their way to Manchester from Southampton.
“I just want to ask a few questions of the ECB and these protocols, though. I understand that protocols should be put in place but they should be a little bit more logical,” Holding said.
“Why aren’t the England team travelling on a bus? If they have already passed the Covid test and everyone is together, they have six matches and are moving from one venue to another, why aren’t they just all on a bus?
“Why are they allowed to travel by car? People need to just think a bit,” he added.
Former England captain Michael Atherton was also very critical of Archer’s actions and stated it has not only put England’s chances of a comeback into disarray but also put everyone’s safety in jeopardy.
“It’s very foolish for a number of reasons. One, it cost him a place in the team. Secondly, it’s thrown England’s plans into disarray, a vital Test match that they must win to try and win this series,” Atherton said.
“And thirdly it’s put at risk all the work that ECB have done. These six Test matches, three against West Indies, three against Pakistan, they’ve had to do a tremendous amount of work to get these games on.”
Archer will now commence five days of isolation and will undergo two COVID-19 tests in this period, which have to test negative before his self-isolation period is lifted, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.