Jofra Archer says Steve Smith's hit made him think of Phil Hughes

LONDON: Jofra Archer said memories of the afternoon Phillip Hughes came to mind after he released a 92 mph gorilla that shocked the Australian star Steve Smith during the ashes of last year.

Former Australian hitter Hughes died after being hit by a brief delivery during a 2014 Sheffield Shield national game.

England fast pitcher Archer said he had begun to fear the worst when his fearsome goalkeeper hit Smith, now one of the world's best hitters, at Lord's.

My first reaction was that it hit the helmet, but a few seconds after it fell, everyone said 'Oh no,' Archer told Talksport radio remembering the time when Smith, a teammate from the Indian Premier League, Rajasthan Royals fell to the grass.

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We had things with Phil a few years back, and overall, anything that hits you in that vicinity will be a problem, added Archer, who was making his Test debut.

I'm glad he came out the other side and hit two games.

Archer, 25, has not played since the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at Centurion after suffering a stress fracture.

But his absence has coincided with a long period of forced rest for all top-notch cricketers after COVID-19 halted major sports worldwide.

The start of the English season has been delayed until July 1, at the earliest, but officials remain hopeful that a series of rescheduled tests against the West Indies may begin later in the month.

Archer can still be found back in England and Wales Cricket Board of Directors training program as early as this week if the British government publishes a guide on how elite athletes can safely train during the pandemic.

Any game taking place this season will be behind closed doors, but Barbados-born Archer said the absence of fans could be bearable if the artificial sound effects were allowed to replicate typical crowd noise.

Playing quietly will take a while to get used to, so playing music, some simulations of a crowd, something to create an atmosphere, Archer wrote in his Daily Mail column.

The best solution, if we have to play behind closed doors, could be to have applause and applause when someone hits a four or a wicket falls. These are the little things that will make it as normal as possible even though it won t be a normal occasion.