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Jofra Archer: England do not pick pace bowler in provisional World Cup squad



Jofra Archer in action in the IPL

England have not picked uncapped pace bowler Jofra Archer in a preliminary 15-man World Cup squad but have named him in one-day squads for games against Pakistan and Ireland.

Barbados-born Archer, 24, qualified to play for England in March after a change in residency rules.

He could still make the World Cup if he impresses in the pre-tournament matches as changes can be made up to 23 May.

England play Ireland on 3 May before a five-match series against Pakistan.

“The selection panel has been impressed with Jofra Archer’s performances in domestic and franchise cricket,” said national selector Ed Smith.

“He is a very talented and exciting cricketer.”

England’s Chris Woakes said on Tuesday it would “not be fair morally” to pick Archer for the World Cup, hosted by England and Wales, which begins on 30 May.

Sussex’s Archer has an English father and a British passport. He became eligible to play for England on 17 March thanks to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) bringing in new residency rules on 1 January.

He has played only 14 one-day matches in his career but has impressed in Twenty20 cricket.

Archer, rated one of the most valuable limited-overs players in the world because of his 90mph bowling, athletic fielding and aggressive batting, is currently playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), alongside England internationals Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.

Smith told him about his selection prior to the Royals’ game against Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday, where Archer took 3-15 from his four overs.

The ECB said players “selected in the squads, who are currently playing in the IPL, will return to England on or before 26 April”.

The preliminary World Cup squad is unchanged from the drawn winter one-day series against the West Indies, with Eoin Morgan captaining a side who are number one in the ODI rankings.

Jordan returns to ODI squad

Archer’s Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan has also been given a chance to break into the World Cup set-up by being named in the squads to play Ireland and Pakistan.

Pace bowler Jordan, who played in England’s 3-0 Twenty20 series win in the West Indies, returns to the ODI squad for the first time since September 2016.

“Chris Jordan, a regular in T20 squads over the past few years, has continued to develop as a cricketer – as we saw in the T20s in the West Indies,” said Smith.

“He fully deserves his return to the ODI squad.”

Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes will be rested for the ODI against Ireland in Dublin and the T20 international against Pakistan on 5 May.

They will return to the squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan between 8 and 19 May before England open their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval on 30 May.

“All 17 players named in the Royal London ODIs against Pakistan can stake a claim to be in the final 15-man squad, finalised at the end of that series,” added Smith.

“With regard to resting players, we are conscious of managing player workloads leading into such an important summer so that players are in the best possible condition for the World Cup.

“That was also a factor in the way we have selected these three squads.”

After the World Cup squad is finalised, England play warm-up matches against Australia on 25 May and Afghanistan on 27 May. These are not official ODIs.

Analysis – ‘a knife-edge choice’

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

Jofra Archer has been given a chance to prove himself for the World Cup.

It’s a real conundrum for the selectors; how do they give all involved in this knife-edge choice – David Willey, Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran and possibly Joe Denly – a fair and equal chance to compete with the talented Archer.

Archer, for all his T20 experience, has played only 14 one-day matches in his career.

Keeping a squad of 17 happy over five make-or-break games with so much at stake will not be easy.

Chris Jordan’s performances in the West Indies have given him another opportunity, while England’s party to play Ireland is essentially its T20 squad.

England preliminary 15-man World Cup squad:

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

England 17-man squad to play in Pakistan ODIs:

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

England 14-man squad to play in Ireland ODI and Pakistan IT20:

Eoin Morgan (captain), Jofra Archer, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood

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Brighton meningitis amputee 'can even drive car'



A man who almost died from meningitis has revealed how he began to look forward to having his limbs amputated.

Mike Davies, 60, from Brighton, spent 70 days in intensive care with meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia.

During this time, he said he knew his hands and feet were “dead” and he would recover better without them.

Now he says he is in a positive place and “can even hold a pint of beer”.

With the help of prosthetic limbs, Mr Davies can drive a specially-adapted car and said he was living life to the full.

“My message to anyone who has amputations would be not to give up,” he said.

The illness struck on Christmas Eve in 2017 when he began to get “colder and colder”.

He said: “Climbing into bed didn’t help. I looked like a ghost with blue lips.”

His family insisted he went to Royal Sussex County Hospital.

In the early hours of Christmas Day, his wife Julie and son Rory were taken to a room and told he was unlikely to survive.

‘A lucky man’

“When they held my hand, I could not feel it. My hands and feet were dying,” he said.

During 10 weeks in hospital “on the edge of survival”, he knew his limbs had to go.

“I began to look forward to having my hands and feet amputated

“I was on a lot of medication and I was very accepting that they needed to go for me to make a recovery” he said.

He spent two and a half months at Queen Mary’s University Hospital, Roehampton, learning to walk on prosthetic legs.

Since then, he has “walked three miles”, can feed himself, using cutlery strapped to his arms, and can “even hold a pint of beer”.

“I feel in quite a positive place in my mind about the challenges I still have to overcome.

“Support from other people has been key. I am a lucky man,” he said.

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Kai Gasson jailed for Crawley street stabbing murder



A teenager who stabbed a man to death in a street has been jailed for life.

Kai Gasson, 17, had denied the murder of Arnold Potter in Crawley but was convicted and ordered to serve at least 15 years.

Reporting restrictions were lifted at Lewes Crown Court so unemployed Gasson, who lived in Crawley, could be named.

Mr Potter, 24, died in Watson Close, Maidenbower, on 15 November after he was wounded in the torso with a lock knife.

After the hearing, Det Ch Insp Andy Richardson said Gasson “rightly” faced a minimum of 15 years behind bars after the jury rejected his claim that he acted in self-defence after a row about drugs.

“Had Gasson not been in possession of a knife that day, he would not have stabbed anyone and he would not now be facing a sentence,” he said.

“We must continue to educate people – particularly young people – that carrying offensive weapons in public is a serious offence which ruins lives.”

Gasson was also found guilty of possessing a knife and admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

After the court case, a family tribute issued through police said Mr Potter was a caring, kind-hearted man who had been loved by many.

The family said: “Please educate your children about knife crime, as it impacts every member of your family.

“Life goes on, but life will never be the same again for us.”

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Child held near cliff edge at Seven Sisters prompts warning



The National Trust has warned people to “act sensibly” after pictures emerged of a man holding a child inches from an unstable cliff edge.

The pair were pictured on Monday at Seven Sisters near Eastbourne, East Sussex.

In 2017, 50,000 tonnes of the cliff crumbled and fell to the beach below.

The following day a 23-year-old South Korean tourist fell to her death when she jumped in the air for a picture and lost her footing on the edge.

Others were also seen near the edge and the Trust spokeswoman said: “It isn’t safe to stand or sit on the cliff edge.

“The cliffs are unstable in places and there are undercuts in the chalk, which people may be unaware of from the top.

“We advise visitors to act sensibly.”

There are permanent signs in place warning people of the danger.

MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield said the warm weather made an “ideal time to visit the coast”. However, she said it was “disappointing and concerning” to see people on the edge or “dangling children on the edge”.

“We know how dangerous those cliff edges are. We know people have been injured, and we’ve had tragic loss of life in the past.”

Ms Caulfield said she will speak to local councils on how to tackle the safety issues in future.

Previously, some have criticised the signage for not standing out, and there have been calls for signs in foreign languages as tourism from the Far East increases.

Ms Caulfield said: “It’s a difficult balance… if you put too much fencing or signage you destroy the beauty of the place.

“But it’s clear, despite the efforts of the local councils, the signs that are there are not enough to deter people from going close to the cliff edge.”

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