5 things you should know about Jofra Archer
The Barbados-born fast bowler hopes to be playing for England soon.
Jofra Archer will be available to play for England from next year after the ECB announced changes to its eligibility criteria.
Barbados-born Archer was due to have to serve a seven-year qualification period, having arrived in England in 2015, but the ECB has brought its rules closer to those of the International Cricket Council by requiring a three-year period of residence.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the man who could soon be wearing England colours.
Archer was born in Barbados in 1995 to a Barbadian mother and an English father, meaning he holds an English passport. Having represented West Indies to under-19 level, a back injury forced him out of the Barbados system. It was in England and club cricket in Sussex that he began to kickstart his career. His injury initially restricted Archer to bowling off-spin but he admits it was a spell that also allowed him to focus on his batting. He began a spell with Sussex’s second XI, but it was not long before his talent was realised.
County Cricket arrival
Sussex were first alerted to Archer’s potential by their fast-bowler and fellow Barbadian Chris Jordan, who had faced Archer in a net session in Barbados. Four-wickets came on his first-class debut against Pakistan and he started to show white-ball pedigree as well – taking 35 wickets in all formats at the back end of 2016. He has 131 wickets in just 28 first-class matches at an impressive average of 23.44. His T20 performances, including a final-over hat-trick against Middlesex helped Sussex to the Vitality Blast final in 2018. It is Archer’s raw pace and excellent aggressive bowling, as well as handy skills with the bat, that have made him one of the world’s hottest T20 prospects.
Big Bash and IPL propel Archer to international stardom
Archer’s stint with the Hobart Hurricanes in the 2017-18 Big Bash in Australia catapulted him into the eyes of the global cricketing world. His 16 wickets in 12 games with an economy of 7.96 only told part of the story as Archer’s efforts with the bat and in the field inspired the Hurricanes to the Big Bash final. One Archer delivery was clocked at 94mph and his mix of yorkers and bouncers got observers very excited. Inevitably, the IPL came calling and Archer was snapped up by the Rajasthan Royals for £800,000 before taking three wickets on his debut in a player-of-the-match performance.
Keen to play for England
Archer has made no secret of his desire to represent England, rather than the country of his birth. “I want to play for England. I think the conditions over here suit me a lot more than anywhere else, so I feel I would be better suited for a longer career in England,” Archer told Sky Sports in 2017. The rules as they were would have meant that he would have had to see out a seven-year qualification period, preventing him from representing England until 2022, as his arrival in the UK in 2015 came after his 18th birthday. But the ECB’s new rules mean that Archer will now qualify to play for England from next year.
World Cup prospects
His white-ball pedigree inevitably means that Archer’s name will become linked with a place in England’s squad for next summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil. England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan was believed to have been among those keen for Archer to be fast-tracked for England eligibility. But during the summer he appeared to rule out Archer’s World Cup chances, saying: “Is it too late if he did qualify at the start of next year? Yes, I think it is. Providing everybody is fit, I think it is.” Now that Archer’s eligibility has been confirmed, the conversation about his inclusion will begin again. England have a very settled one-day side but a lack of genuine pace has often been seen as one weakness, with the likes of Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood often selected to try and fill that void.
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