A little over three months back Jofra Archer wasn’t even sure when and if he would ever be able to play for the England national team. Until the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) moved more closely in line with International Cricket Council guidelines in November, it appeared that Archer would have had to wait until 2022 to play for England.
Not only has Archer become eligible, he has now been fast-tracked into the national team for the ICC World Cup which will get underway on Thursday (May 30). Hosts England will face South Africa at the Oval on Thursday but Archer is keeping himself grounded.
“They only changed the rule three months back, so I wasn’t even thinking about playing for England before that. If I had just Pakistan series and not played in the World Cup I would have been happy,” Archer said after England thrashed Afghanistan in their last warm-up tie.
Born in Barbados and qualifying because of his British father, the 24-year-old is a wonderful prospect for England due to his ability to consistently bowl at 90mph along with his handy ability with the bat.
“It’s just cricket and I try to make it as simple as possible. We have a few fast bowlers like (Mark) Wood, Liam (Plunkett) and (Chris) Woakesy are not slow either. I think we have a fast bowler for all conditions. We have an exciting bowling line-up going into the World Cup,” Archer said when asked about his pace.
The youngster comes with plenty of experience of bowling in T20 leagues around the world including the Rajasthan Royals at the IPL-12.
“For me it doesn’t feel much different. My role in the team has been the same, so I am lucky on that part. Team environment has been welcoming. It’s a good team to come into, everyone has been performing. I can’t think of a better team to come into,” Archer, who plays for Sussex in County cricket, said.
Archer made his England debut in a victory over Ireland in Dublin and bowled a hostile spell in the first ODI against Pakistan at The Oval.
“Ball was coming out very nicely. The wicket wasn’t like the last time we played at the Oval, it was a bit further to the right but hopefully by Thursday we will be playing closer to the middle strip. There is always more to come, just try to get better personally,” Archer, who picked up 11 wickets in 11 IPL games this season, said.
Finally, Archer is not looking beyond World Cup although he might be favourite to make the squad for the Ashes later this year.
“All the focus is on World Cup right now. England hasn’t done so well in the last couple of World Cups. If you want to win the World Cup it’s best to win it at home as well,” he said.