England announce Test squad: Bairstow, Woakes, Wood return; Archer ruled out of Ashes

Archer suffered an injury while playing for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023. Recent scans revealed he has a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow.

Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood returned to the Test team after a long time as England, on Tuesday, announced a strong 15-member squad for the only Test against Ireland starting June 1. Jofra Archer was the only notable absentee from the squad that will be led by all-rounder Ben Stokes. Archer suffered an injury while playing for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023. Recent scans revealed he has sustained a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow. He will now spend time with the England and Sussex medical teams, who will work on his injury management, which means he won't be available for Ashes starting June 16.

England, however, have more reasons to celebrate than remorse. a fully fit Bairstow has returned to the scheme of things for the first time since last August. a freak accident which resulted in a broken left leg and dislocated ankle had kept the wicketkeeper-batter out of action for more than seven months. He is set to be the first-choice keeper in the Ashes opener on June 16.

All-rounder Chris Woakes too returned to the Test squad for the first time since March 2022, and if selected, this will be his first Test appearance on home soil since August 2020. After taking a break from the tour of New Zealand, Durham fast bowler Mark Wood is back in the squad.

Ollie Pope has been officially confirmed as England’s vice-captain with immediate effect.

Commenting on the selected squad, ECB Managing Director for England Men's Cricket, Rob Key, said:

"We are looking forward to the summer ahead and getting into the swing of things, starting with a good test against Ireland.

“It was a seriously tough decision to leave Ben Foakes out of the squad. He has been excellent for England in the last year, but Jonny Bairstow is one of the best players in the world whose performances last summer epitomised what we are about.

“It has been a frustrating and upsetting period for Jofra Archer. He was making good progress until a recurrence of the elbow injury, which kept him out for an extended period previously. We wish him the best of luck with his recovery.

"I’m sure we will see Jofra back to his best and winning games for England, whatever the format. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

"I would like to wish the players every success, especially those returning after some time away."

England Test squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

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