England’s new tearaway quick Jofra Archer has been forced to defend himself after a training incident in the lead up to tomorrow’s all-important fourth Ashes Test. After images circulated of him clearly over-stepping the bowling crease while bowling in the nets, Archer’s teammates reportedly challenged him over the one of cricket’s age-old controversies: fast bowlers clearly bowling no balls at training.

A source close to the England camp claimed that Archer then used the popular defence that “I don’t bowl them in a game, but”, before continuing to over-step the crease by as much as half a metre. While England’s batsman ducked and weaved at the faster than usual deliveries sent down by Archer, team management allegedly called a premature end to the fast bowler’s spell in an attempt to avoid untimely injuries to the side’s already shaky batting line-up.

The inside source said, “He was really charging in during his spell. Then, when Joe Root was standing around waiting to bat next, he noticed Archer over-stepping by a long way, so he challenged Joff. It’s fair to say that the accusation didn’t go down too well with the big fella. He just told Joe that he doesn’t bowl them in a game, so it was no problem. There was an awkward silence, and then Joff just continued to plant his front foot way over the crease. It would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so scary.”

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