Jofra Archer back training with England for first time in nearly a year

Jofra Archer was back with England for the first time in nearly 12 months but is nowhere near to returning to action.

Jofra Archer returned to training with England for the first time in nearly a year after linking up with the Twenty20 squad ahead of their five-match series against the West Indies.

Archer is still some way off a return after heading to his native Barbados following a second operation on a longstanding elbow complaint last month.

But the fast bowler, whose most recent international appearance came in March last year, was in an England training top on Tuesday and was seen doing some sprinting drills and catching up with team-mates.

It is understood he will not be bowling in the nets or taking part in fielding drills with England, who are without several regulars in the Caribbean for the white-ball series against the Windies which starts on Saturday.

But this represents a step in the right direction in Archer's rehabilitation, with the quick entering England's bubble on Monday.

Payne hopeful of opportunity

David Payne is bidding to elbow his way into contention for England's next Test assignment in the West Indies in March by making a splash in five Twenty20s between the teams in Barbados.

Payne's selection for the whistle-stop T20 trip this month proves his surprise maiden call-up in last summer's one-day series against Pakistan following a coronavirus outbreak within England's first-team was no flash in the pan.

While the tall left-armer is still awaiting his first international cap and turns 31 next month, he retains lofty ambitions of representing England in all formats and senses an opportunity in the aftermath of the Ashes debacle.

Some of England's seamers came away from a 4-0 drubbing in Australia in credit but Payne offers an alternative to the right-arm options and he has averaged 23.04 in first-class competitions since the start of the 2018 season.

He told the PA news agency: "I've still got huge aspirations to play Test cricket for England. You never know what can happen because sometimes if guys can do well in white-ball with England they have a look at you.

"Part of my mind is, can I end up on the red-ball trip in the West Indies by doing well? This call-up just feels like it's opened up countless opportunities: both for white-ball cricket and maybe for red-ball.

Read more: Ashes post-mortem - What next for England after 4-0 embarrassment?

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