The sight of Jofra Archer sitting on his knees with a smile on his face and a sense of satisfaction will remain with the England fans for a long long time. This was the moment the English fans were waiting for decades and it was finally delivered to them by a man who was not even a part of the preliminary World Cup squad. Archer was a last-minute addition to England’s main squad at the cost of David Willey.
At that time, Archer’s inclusion had raised quite a number of eyebrows since Willey was an integral part of the team. But as the World Cup progressed, Archer kept justifying his inclusion in the side. He became England’s go-to man in all situations and eventually bowled the over that handed the hosts their first-ever World Cup. Archer finished the tournament as England‘s highest wicket-taker. He picked up 20 wickets while conceding at an economy rate of less than 5.
Heartbreak for Jofra Archer
While Jofra Archer was giving his all on the cricket field to turn England’s dream into reality, he was grieving over the death of his cousin during the tournament. Ashantio Blackman, 24, was shot dead outside his home in St. Philip, eastern Barbados, in May. Archer’s cousin was murdered the day after England’s World Cup campaign started with a 104-run win against South Africa on May 30.
However, he handled the entire episode bravely and played a crucial role in England’s triumph. The Barbados-born pacer had become eligible to play for England earlier this year. “(His cousin) is the same age as Jofra and they were really close, he even messaged him in the days before he died. Jofra was really affected by his death but had to carry on,” the pacer’s father Frank told The Times.
Archer senior further said that his son’s exploits would inspire others to take up cricket. “People have been questioning his Britishness, but him playing for England has shown he will inspire everyone to play cricket because it’s usually seen as an elitist sport,” his father said.
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