For English fast bowler Jofra Archer, the 16th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2023 was one to forget. The 28-year-old was acquired by Mumbai Indians for INR 8 crore during the IPL 2022 auction. However, he was unable to participate in the IPL 2022 due to a chronic injury, and his 2023 campaign was terminated due to an elbow fracture.
Since he was acquired, Mumbai’s investment in the star pacer has only gone downward. During his two years with MI, Archer appeared in five matches (all in 2023), but only managed to secure two wickets. Former Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar scrutinized Archer after observing his performances thus far and his injury-related withdrawal from the IPL. He even suggested that they should not pay him a single rupee.
What experience have Mumbai Indians had with Jofe Archer? They gambled on him despite knowing he was injured and would only be available this season. They spent a lot of money to acquire him, but what has he given in return? “He should have informed the franchise that he was not 100 percent fit,” Gavaskar wrote in his Mid-Day column.
“There is no purpose in paying even one rupee for a player, regardless of how well-known he may be, if he will not be available for the entire tournament. The player must choose between playing for an IPL franchise or his nation. If he chooses his country over the IPL, kudos to him, but if he chooses the IPL, he must fulfill his commitments in full and not leave early, particularly when qualifying for the playoffs becomes crucial,” he added.
Jasprit Bumrah’s absence exacerbated Mumbai’s injury troubles, but Archer’s absence exacerbates the situation. The absence of crucial bowlers could prove disastrous for the five-time defending champions as they prepare to advance to the knockout stages of the competition.