Chris Jordan eyes the future and backs Jofra Archer for England

• Barbados-born all-rounder already making waves worldwide
• Sussex’s Jofra Archer becomes eligible for England in 2022

Ever since Chris Jordan watched Jofra Archer as a plucky teenager in the Barbados nets, the pair have had an affinity. It was the all-rounder who alerted Sussex to the fact Archer had a British passport – he has never owned a Barbados one.

That recommendation has set off a chain of events that now sees the 22-year-old a Big Bash League cult hero, an Indian Premier League star and, when he qualifies in 2022 and if you believe the hype, the saviour of English fast bowling.

Jordan, preparing with England at the MCG for the second match in the Twenty20 Tri-Series against Australia, has urged calm. A performance of one for 46 in Hobart Hurricanes’ BBL final defeat by Adelaide Strikers led to whispers of a potential injury. Jordan, in regular contact with Archer, denies the claims on his friend’s behalf.

“I just think people need to remember that he’s 22,” Jordan said. “He’s learning his game and can make mistakes. He’s gone for quite a high price tag [in the IPL] and he’s exceeding a lot of people’s expectations the last few weeks. But he’s allowed to have a couple of off-days, as we all are as cricketers.”

There are many similarities between the paths both have chosen – understandable given one has led the other. Archer, like Jordan, is another plucked from the Caribbean who would improve West Indies immeasurably. Last summer they tried and failed to make Archer reconsider his decision.

“He’s a talented player and anyone would want him to play for them,” Jordan said. “As he’s said on many occasions, he wants to play for England. It just stops there.”

Quite how the international landscape will look in four years’ time, when England can pick Archer, is anyone’s guess. Would he even want it, after years of making a name and a life for himself in franchise Twenty20. Jordan, who himself is now seemingly regarded as a Twenty20 pick by England having represented them in all three formats, says Archer’s ambitions lie with the international game and believes his young friend has a lot to offer Test cricket. Last summer, in the County Championship, Archer scored 638 runs and took 61 wickets.

“He has a desire to play all three formats, he enjoys the longer format. He enjoys nicking someone off and bowling a massive inswinger to get someone.

“You only have to check his social media to see that. He has the desire. By the time he is able to play international cricket, he’ll be hardened and know his game even better. He can come on the scene and flourish straightaway.”

And what of potentially lining up alongside each other? “He talks about it already,” Jordan said, laughing. “If that day comes, both of us would be more than happy.”

Contributor

Vithushan Ehantharajah in Melbourne

The GuardianTramp

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