West Indies captain Jason Holder threw his weight behind England pacer Jofra Archer, who said he was racially abused on social media following his bio-security breach ahead of the second Test in Manchester.
Archer was left out of the England side on the day of the Test after it emerged that he had breached bio-secure protocols. Having undergone self isolation and two COVID-19 negative tests, Archer is back in the squad for the third game.
“It was a shock to all of us when we heard Jofra Archer had breached bio-secure protocols before the second Test but our guys handled the situation well and didn’t get caught up with it. We didn’t feel let down by Jofra. It was out of our control," Holder wrote in Daily Mail.
“Life in the bubble is great but also difficult and I’m sure he felt bad about what he did. And seeing the way the ECB handled it I’m sure he won’t do it again.
“People are humans and make mistakes and it’s just important we all learn from Jofra’s mistake and appreciate the severity of the situation. We all know Jofra well from his time growing up in Barbados and let me tell you he’s a really good guy. He’s also young and I’m sure he didn’t mean to harm anyone."
Holder said he ‘sympathises’ with Archer, who was racially abused in New Zealand last year too.
“I sympathise with him. I read his Sportsmail column and you don’t want to see what has gone on with Jofra happening to anyone. For him to have been racially abused in New Zealand last winter and for it now to be resurfacing would traumatise any individual," he said.
“More than ever, now is the time for us all to unite behind him and show as much support as we can. We need to eradicate racism and abuse and anything we as a West Indies team can do to help him we will do. We all need to put our heads together to see what can be done."
Calling for stricter punishment on people who racially abuse others on social media, Holder said world cricket needs to preserve Archer.
“… it’s equally important for those around him to understand what he’s going through so they can then help him get past what he’s facing. World cricket wants people like Jofra Archer on the field and it’s not good for the game to see what he’s been going through.
“We will all rally round him. Now is the time to come together and find solutions for these problems. I haven’t spoken to Jofra yet about this but I will do. It will certainly be good to see him back on the park and compete against him again."