We know this is maybe missing the point a bit, but that Jofra Archer seems quite a nice lad, doesn’t he?

Jofra Archer (Sky Sports)

Jofra Archer has it all, they say. We presume they mean diplomacy, humility, maturity and perspective. Amid all the politics and arduously manufactured controversy, there’s a simple truth here: Archer seems like the kind of guy you’d want playing for your country.

Isn’t he?

We don’t know him all that well yet, but to us he seems like a guy who’s simply happy to be playing cricket. And we like that. For all his achievements in the IPL and the Big Bash, he still talks about how grateful he is to have been given a chance at Sussex. Chris Jordan gets a thank you in pretty much every interview you’ll read.

Nor is Archer remotely big-headed about the fact that he happens to be a brilliant bowler. In last month’s Wisden Cricket Monthly, Jo Harman asked him about the perception that the game comes easily to him. “If you train hard then what you’re training for should look easy,” he replied.

These are the words of a man who works at his craft. He knows he has to earn his spot and he doesn’t yet seem put out if he doesn’t get in. “Of course I want to play in the World Cup, but if it doesn’t happen for me I’m not going to get upset,” he said earlier this week. “I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” he added.

Who knows. Maybe the man’s a conniving psychopath who’s presenting himself as a fine and decent human being purely to inveigle his way into the nation’s affections and World Cup squad.

Or maybe he’s just a cricketer who’s not an arsehole.

It’s easy to be scornful of the ECB’s slightly desperate yearning for ‘role models,’ envisaging faceless dullards shorn of any endearing rough edges. But it’s also true that it’s easier to enjoy sport if you feel something for the characters who are taking part.

As far as we can tell, there is much to like about Jofra Archer and therefore a greater number of positive emotions to be harvested when he does well. Throw in the fact that he’s good enough to play for England and on balance it would be nice if England kept picking him.


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11 Appeals

  1. Players who have choices of what team to play for must have quite a lot to ponder – and he could probably have played for pretty much whoever he liked, in these days of roaming bands of cricketeers.

    Key questions remain to be answered, or even asked, to determine which team he should have plumped for.

    Does he look good/bad/natural/punchable while wearing a wig?

    What’s his attitude to recreational drugs?

    Is he pro or anti KP?

    If he falls off a pedalo then how good is his swimming?

    How many beers could he consume on an intercontinental flight?

    Is he elite with sandpaper or does he prefer gummy bears?

    I think some of the qualifying questions may have changed over time, mind.

  2. He certainly doesn’t seem like the sort of person who will lamp someone outside a bar at 1am, so that puts him above a large number of other people these days.

  3. Nominative determinism suggests that Jofra Archer should be a conniving psychopath. I cannot help but think of his ghastly near-namesake when his name is mentioned…

    …which is a real shame, as I suspect that Jofra is a nice enough guy.

    On the matter of the ghastly namesake, I am currently uploading my topical humour “body of work” from 25 years ago and only the other day uploaded this:

    http://ianlouisharris.com/1994/07/10/jeffrey-archer-medley-newsrevue-lyrics-10-july-1994/

    Click through and sing along – you know you want to.

  4. This post has got “this could come back to haunt you” written all over it. But yes, he seems lovely so far.

    If he could just get Steve Smith hopping around in barely-disguised terror over the next few months then all the better! I’m sure I’d be able to forgive him a lot under Jose circumstances, if the need ever arose.

  5. I originally tweeted when he was first selected for an England squad that this had massive shades of England just before the World Cup panic.

    Then England’s players started to find hilarious ways to not be available to play cricket for England. Now it’s obvious that the universe wants England to make panicked changes to its world cup squads just before the tournament starts and we may as well learn to embrace the whirlwind. Also, based on current trends he’s liable to be the only English cricketer to be available to start the tournament (along with Ravi Bopara, obvs)

  6. I think we’re all missing the important question.

    What will his nickname be?

    Options:

    Archery
    Jofs
    JA
    J Man
    Jeff
    Big J
    Jeffrey Archer
    The Archbishop of Canterbury
    The Archbishop Of Banterbury
    Bishop Muzurewa

  7. It seems the only stories about English cricket I’ve seen lately involve Jofra Archer. I know he’s good but everyone’s talking about him like he’s the bloody second coming.
    We used to do this to fast bowlers in India. As a nation we were so starved of fast bowling talent that as soon as some youngster made the speed gun hit 145 we’d abandon everything and force him to get fast tracked to international cricket. Only to find out a year later he’s struggling with injury and bowling 120.

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