After much speculation and discussion, pace bowling all-rounder Jofra Archer was selected in the England World Cup squad. Archer’s name wasn’t there in the first team that was announced but was included in the final list that was released earlier this week.
The 24-year-old Archer has gained immense popularity in a short span courtesy his raw pace and ability to bowl yorkers in the various T20 leagues he has represented thus far. And while England is currently one of the best ODI sides, Archer’s inclusion gives their bowling unit that much more teeth and increases their chances of winning the ICC World Cup 2019.
“We’ve seen Jofra Archer playing for England over the last few weeks, and we’ve seen the skills and the quality he has,” said Ed Smith, England’s national selector, at the squad announcement. “It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? He’s an outstanding cricketer, very talented, a fascinating player. He has pace, bounce, athleticism, skill with the bat; he’s an outstanding talent, that was clear to all of us. He’s made a perfect start to his England career, and long may that continue.”
Ed is pretty spot on in his assessment of Archer. The Barbados- born cricketer has had quite a dramatic rise in international cricket. He played for the West Indies under 19s in 2013, but a sudden and severe back injury forced him out of the system. Archer then chose to move to England and play for Sussex in the Sussex Premier League.
Within no time, Archer impressed all with his pace and control. His silky action and consistent ability to bowl yorkers and get wickets made him an exciting prospect. Interestingly, until last year Archer required a full seven years to complete his residency qualification for England and he could only be available for the national team selection by 2021-22. But the ECB spotted his talent and moved that process to three years, making Archer eligible by March this year.
Archer made his ODI and T20I debut for England in May 2019. Although he has only still played four internationals, he has shown a lot of promise. His ability to hit the ball hard lower down the order makes Archer that much more useful and might come in real handy in the World Cup.
Archer, expectedly, is thrilled at his election and is confident of doing well in the big tournament courtesy the experience he has gained of performing with Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
“I think I’m ready,” Archer was quoted as saying to Sky Sports News. “I’ve played a lot of cricket outside of 50 overs. And I know to deal with the pressure of crowds,” he added.
If he is given decent opportunities, Jofra Archer would be a star to watch out for in the ICC World Cup 2019. He is an exciting young talent who loves the big stage. And a tournament like the World Cup is perfect for leaping the big stage for him.
In the end, Archer might well be the one who makes the difference for England’s chances in the World Cup this time.