MI Cape Town rope in Jofra Archer as wildcard pick for inaugural edition

Jofra Archer is set to return to competitive cricket in South Africa after becoming MI Cape Town’s wildcard signing for the inaugural edition of the SA20, beginning on January 10. The English pacer has not played an international game since March 2021 because of long-standing elbow concerns.

MI Cape Town, Mumbai Indians’ franchise at SA 20, on Wednesday announced the signing of Jofra Archer for the inaugural edition of the competition, to be held in South Africa from January 10 to February 11. 

“MI Cape Town announce the signing of Jofra Archer as their SA20 wildcard player ahead of the inaugural season of SA20,” the franchise said in a statement on November 23.

Archer will play alongside England team-mates Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, and Olly Stone at MI Cape Town, whose squad also boast of having Rashid Khan, Kagiso Rabada, and Dewald Brevis.

The 27-year-old, the leading wicket-taker for England in their 2019 ODI World Cup-winning campaign, is currently in the UAE with the England Lions team as part of his rehab programme. Initially, he had a long-standing elbow issue, which was followed by a stress fracture of the lower back, forcing him not to play an international match since March 2021. Yet, Mumbai Indians signed him in the last IPL auction for INR 8 crore, projecting him as a man for the future. Thus, MI have retained him for IPL 2023.

Apart from MI Cape Town, the only other franchise to announce a wildcard signing so far are Sunrisers Eastern Cape, bringing in uncapped South African batter Jordan Hermann. The deadline for picking wildcard players is December 30, confirmed by SA20 commissioner Graeme Smith.

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