Mumbai: Jofra Archer has been England’s brightest star in the ongoing Ashes series except for maybe yesterday when Ben Stokes played a superhuman inning to give England their first victory of the series.
The bowler has been phenomenal since his debut after England’s successful World Cup campaign. He finished the World Cup as England’s highest wicket-taker. In the Ashes, his battle with Steve Smith was a sight for sore eyes. He picked up five wickets on his Test debut and proceeded to pick eight more in his second match.
But these achievements could have been a lot different had things not gone the way it was supposed to. He could have ended up for playing in the maroon colours of his native West Indies. Growing up in Barbados, Archer always wanted to be a wicketkeeper. But, his fast bowling talents soon emerged and his destiny was written.
To achieve his destiny was no mean task, as he began facing a lot of difficulties. He was snubbed for the most part of the tours and the 2014 World Cup squad exclusion compelled him to take his career in a different tangent.
In March of this year, while talking to Wisden, he said, “It’s really hard to get a chance in Barbados. It’s either the first team or no team. There’s no second XI, there’s no academy really. From under-19 you’ve just got to try and break into the senior team. It’s just a long list.”
“I was injured at the time, so I put myself pretty much to the bottom of that list. No one showed much interest so I just thought I’d try and come to England and give it a couple of years. If it didn’t happen I could always go back and try again,” he added.
Thus, in 2015, he made the decision to move to England to pursue his dream. But, at first, he would not have been able to play for England for seven years under their old eligibility rule. However, a change in that requirement meant that it would only take him three years to play for England. Archer made his debut earlier this year and since then he hasn’t looked back....