LONDON (CMC) – Highly-regarded Barbadian fast bowler Jofra Archer was on Wednesday ignored for England’s preliminary 15- man World Cup squad, but has been named to face Ireland and Pakistan, leaving the 24-year-old still with an outside chance of turning out at the ICC showpiece starting next month. Selectors opted for an unchanged unit meaning there was no space for Archer, who qualified to represent England last month after the England and Wales Cricket Board amended its eligibility criteria.
However, Archer will be part of the 14-man squad that takes on Ireland in a solitary One-Day International on May 3 in Dublin and a oneoff Twenty20 International two days later in Cardiff. He will also line up to face Pakistan in a five-match ODI series from May 5-19, after which the World Cup squad will be finalized. “The selection panel would like to give Jofra Archer the opportunity to stake a claim for the final World Cup squad, which will be announced in a little over a month.
He’s someone who has very quickly shown what he can do on a big stage,” selector Ed Smith said in a media interview. “I like to keep things very simple on the selection panel: who’s available? Of those who are available, what’s the strongest squad that gives us the best chance to compete and play well? So, as soon as Jofra became available, we discussed whether we would select him in squads … as soon as he became available, we have given him the opportunity.”
Archer played a handful of matches for West Indies Under-19s back in 2013 before turning his attention to England. He holds a UK passport through his father. He was quickly snapped up by county Sussex where he has had a massive impact across all formats in his first two full seasons. Archer has also become a highly sought-after T20 asset and is currently plying his trade for Rajasthan Royals in the lucrative Indian Premier League where he has taken 10 wickets in eight matches.
He produced an outstanding spell on Tuesday after learning of his selection, grabbing three for 15 from four overs in a losing cause against Kings XI Punjab. Another Barbadian, fast bowling all-rounder Chris Jordan, was also overlooked for World Cup selection but has been included for the series against Ireland and Pakistan.