'Archer shouldn't just walk into England squad' - insists pace bowler Willey

By Sports Desk March 08, 2019
Barbadian born England bowler Jofra Archer. Barbadian born England bowler Jofra Archer.

England fast bowler David Willey has expressed concerns regarding the potential selection of Barbadian-born fast bowler Jofra Archer for the upcoming World Cup.

The 23-year-old Archer was the recent beneficiary of a shift in regulations by residency qualification period, which moved from seven years to three.  Archer will be eligible to play for his adopted country from March 17.  If reports are to be believed the player will be called for ODIs against Ireland and Pakistan that precede the final deadline for the World Cup squad.

The 29-year-old Willey, however, one of those who could face competition with Archer to be part of the final squad, does not seem to believe the player has necessarily proven his value in the 50-over game.

Archer has a List A bowling average of 30.71 and concedes, on average, 5.29 runs per over; Willey averages 31.64 and has an economy rate of 5.65.  Willey has played 42 ODIs and 121 List A matches while Archer has played 14 List A games.

"It's an interesting dilemma for the captain, coaches and selectors," Willey said. "It's a group of players that have been together for three or four years now that have got us to No.1.

"And there's a reason for that. Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they're available, whether that's the right thing, I don't know."

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    Despite playing just three one-day internationals, Archer was included in England's 15-man squad for a tournament they are set to enter as favourites.

    The 24-year-old said Kohli was a wicket he wanted to take, while also eyeing West Indies star Chris Gayle.

    Asked about Archer's comments, Kohli said on Thursday: "Did he say that?

    "I had no idea. OK, so that's news to me, news to Morgs [England captain Eoin Morgan] as well."

    Kohli went on to sing the praises of Archer, who took three wickets at an average of 36 in his first three ODIs.

    "If Jofra's said that, it's a big compliment because he himself is a world-class bowler," he said.

    "The way he's come about in the IPL [Indian Premier League] over the past couple of years I've seen him, and playing all around the world, there's good reason why he's been fast-tracked into playing for England in a tournament like the World Cup.

    "I think he's probably going to be their X-factor because he holds a skill set which is very different from anyone else. He can generate a lot of pace which can be intimidating and you don't expect that because of his run-up.

    "The way he's built, he's a great athlete and I'm sure the England team is delighted to have him as well, but he's going to be pretty exciting to watch in the World Cup.

    "I personally will be watching his bowling as well because whatever I've seen of him he's been very, very impressive."

    India begin their tournament by facing South Africa on June 5, six days after England open the event against the same opponents.

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    Eyebrows were raised around the region after several high-profile players failed to find a home during Wednesday’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) draft in London.

    Leading the list of notable Caribbean absentees for the upcoming season were Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Sunil Ambris, Davendra Bishoo and Kevon Cooper. 

    The case of Simmons is particularly surprising as things seem to have spun in a 180-degree direction.  Only a few months ago the player was selected as the first pick of the 2018 draft for the St Lucia Stars.

    On that occasion, Simmons went for $US 160,000 after entering the draft for $US 70,000.  The Trinidadian native entered the draft at the same price but this time around but found no takers.

    The much-travelled Simmons previously played for the Jamaica Tallahwahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.  The 36-year-old Smith, who previously opened for Barbados Tridents and Amazon Warriors, also found himself without a team after entering in the $US 70,000 category.

     Another stunning omission, maybe the most surprising, from the team selection was Barbadian born Englishman Jofra Archer, who was the most expensive ever Caribbean-born player for the 2018 IPL season.  The all-rounder also had several big performances in the Australia Big Bash League.  The player was recently selected for the England World Cup squad.

     

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