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Jofra Archer admits he feared for Steve Smith safety after Ashes bouncer

The England bowler has spoken about his duel with Steve Smith and artificial crowd noise in cricket.

Jofra Archer has admitted the late Phil Hughes came to mind when he left Steve Smith concussed with a 92mph bouncer during last summer's Ashes.

Former Australia batsman Hughes died after being struck by a short delivery during a Sheffield Shield match in 2014 – an incident that came to mind when Smith hit the turf at Lord's.

Archer did his best to keep his composure on what was his Test debut but he has revealed his immediate concern for his Rajasthan Royals team-mate.

Jofra Archer has revealed his concern for Steve Smith during last summer's Ashes.
Jofra Archer has revealed his concern for Steve Smith during last summer's Ashes (Mike Egerton/PA)

"My first reaction was that it hit the helmet but a few seconds after he went down, everyone was like 'Oh no'," he told Drive on talkSPORT.

"We had the stuff with Phil a few years ago and, generally, anything that hits you in that vicinity is going to be trouble. I'm just glad that he came out on the other side of it and batted in two games."

Archer has not played since the Boxing Day Test in Centurion after sustaining a stress fracture but has benefited from a long period of enforced rest – stretched beyond his own medical prognosis by the coronavirus lockdown.

Archer would welcome crowd noise if fans were not allowed to attend England matches.
Archer would welcome crowd noise if fans were not allowed to attend England matches (Mike Egerton/PA)

He could soon be put back into some form of formal training regime by the England and Wales Cricket Board, who could look to step up the efforts of their fast bowlers following a shift in government advice.

As yet there is no firm return date for the international schedule to get under way, but Archer would welcome artificial effects being piped in if a behind-closed-doors fixture list is approved.

In his Daily Mail column, he said: "Playing in silence will take some getting used to, so it might be useful to play some music, some simulations of a crowd, something to create an atmosphere.

"The best solution, if we do have to play behind closed doors, might be to have cheers and clapping 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."

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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