MELBOURNE – Hobart Hurricanes coach Adam Griffith says England would be “silly” not to have Jofra Archer in their World Cup plans, also suggesting the Big Bash sensation is good enough to feature in next year’s Ashes.
A recent relaxing of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s rules on overseas player qualification periods will see Archer, who is Barbados-born but has lived in the United Kingdom since he was 18, become eligible for his adopted country in early 2019.
Under the previous ECB regulations, the paceman – who holds a British passport thanks to his English father – would have had to wait until 2022 to qualify. But the change could now see him come into contention for England selection as early as their upcoming tour of the Caribbean.
Archer, who has expressed a strong desire to represent England, has become one of the domestic T20 circuit’s most valuable players following his breakout KFC BBL campaign with the Hurricanes last summer, pocketing $AUD 1.4m in January’s Indian Premier League auction.
While Australian fans will be less aware of his capabilities with the red ball, the right-armer’s numbers in the longer format are equally formidable; he’s collected 102 wickets at 23 in first-class cricket for Sussex over the past two UK County Championship seasons.
“He’s got the talent (to play Test cricket), no doubt. We’ve seen what he can do in white ball (cricket),” Griffith said of Archer, who’s picked up five wickets and gone at just six runs per over in Hobart’s first two games of BBL|08.
“I think he’ll definitely play a role for them in the World Cup – they’d be silly if he didn’t.
“He’s on record that Test cricket is something he wants to play, he sees it as the pinnacle of what he can do.
“He’s a super talent … he’s hyper competitive. He wins games of cricket, so I think they’ll be looking at him.”
Archer presents a tantalising prospect for an England side that has revolutionised one-day cricket.
Capable of hitting speeds approaching 150kph, a supremely athletic fielder and a handy lower-order batter to boot, Archer would another dimension to a team already overflowing with all-round talent.
It’s understood the Hurricanes remain hopeful Archer will be available for the whole BBL campaign, but a national call-up could throw a spanner in the works for last season’s runners-up.
After three Tests against West Indies, England begin the white-ball leg of their tour on February 21, four days after the BBL|08 final.
Griffith said the Hurricanes have no shortage of candidates to replace Archer’s fellow English speedster Tymal Mills, who was ruled out of the BBL through injury earlier this week.
But with the Hurricanes one of three unbeaten sides over a week into this season’s extended tournament, Griffith says they won’t be rushed into signing a replacement nor have they committed to necessarily signing another fast bowler.