LONDON – Cricket authorities in England are considering fast-tracking Barbadian Jofra Archer’s England qualification, in order to have the highly rated all-rounder available for next year’s World Cup.
Under current rules, the 23-year-old has to wait out a seven-year period while being resident in the United Kingdom 210 days per year, in order to qualify to represent England.
He was born in Barbados to a British father and is seeking to represent his adopted country.
Archer possesses a British passport and holds working status in the UK but because he did not arrive in England until after his 18th birthday, under England and Wales Cricket Board regulations he has to serve an eligibility residency period.
However, media reports today said the ECB was now hoping to have Archer involved in the World Cup which bowls off from May 30 to July 15, in addition to the Ashes next summer.
His ability as a genuine fast bowler and power-hitting in the lower order makes him an attractive option for the England camp.
It has been reported that informal discussions are ongoing with the view to ECB changing their regulations to ensure Archer would be qualified in time for both events.
The final decision to fast-track Archer will rest with the ECB’s 12-member board.
Archer, who played a handful of matches for West Indies Under-19s on Bangladesh Under-19’s tour of the Caribbean in 2013, has repeatedly stated his desire to represent England at international level.
“I think I have a longer career in England than I would have in Barbados,” he said only last January.
“After playing with Sussex, I really think the conditions in England suit me. I saw that it’s possible to play for England.”
In another recent interview, Archer said being overlooked by West Indies selectors for the 2014 Youth World Cup had left him angry, and fuelled his decision to move to England.
“I wasn’t selected, so I had to think about what to do next. Once I knew it was an option, it was an easy decision to move to England,” he said.
“I was angry with the West Indies, so that helped me with my decision to come and try to play for England.”
Archer’s rise has been meteoric. He struck 638 runs and took 61 wickets in the County Championship, while scoring 764 runs and grabbing 84 wickets across all three formats, in his first full season for Sussex last year.
He was adjudged the club’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
Archer has since thrilled in the Australia Big Bash and the Indian Premier League where he landed a million-dollar contract for Rajasthan Royals and picked up an impressive 15 wickets in the just concluded season.
His performances have not gone unnoticed by West Indies cricket authorities, who have also stated their intention to lure the player back into their ranks.