Jofra Chioke Archer
April 01, 1995, Bridgetown, Barbados
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Jofra Archer has rapidly become one of the most exciting young allrounders in English cricket. Born in Barbados to an English father and Bajan mother, the possibility of his inclusion in England's 2019 World Cup squad became subject of much speculation in the run-up to the tournament. Changes to the ECB's qualification rules led to him becoming eligible after three years of residency - rather than the expected seven - and he was quickly given his chance at international level.
Archer had declared his intention to play for England soon after moving to the country, taking advantage of his British passport. He impressed with Sussex, as well as in T20 leagues around the world, and made his debut in an ODI against Ireland. It only took a couple of performances - he picked up 2 for 29 in a T20I against Pakistan, followed by 1 for 6 from four overs of precision pace in an abandoned ODI - to convince England of his value at the World Cup, never mind concerns that his promotion might ruffle feathers among the fast-bowling group.
Archer's talent was obvious as he set about following his friend and fellow Bajan Chris Jordan into the England set-up. It was Jordan who first alerted Sussex to Archer's talents after facing him in a net session in Barbados and his assessment that "the sky is the limit" has been borne out by batting and bowling spells of great promise.
Archer, a silky fast bowler with a high action capable of speeds above 90mph, and dangerous lower-middle order batsman, played for West Indies Under-19s in 2013 but after suffering a serious back injury he slipped out of the Barbados system. Instead, he rallied while playing for Sussex's 2nd XI and for Horsham in the Sussex Premier League.
Archer claimed four scalps on his first-class bow against Pakistan before collecting a maiden five-wicket haul in a Royal London Cup defeat to Somerset. He had been playing without a contract because of a long-term back injury, but Sussex acted quickly to secure him for longer. He made a powerful impression when he broke into Sussex's Championship side in the latter half of 2016, making his debut in all three formats and taking 35 wickets in all, 23 of them at 30 runs apiece in Division Two to bring cheer to a mundane Sussex season. He also wasted no time showing his potential with the bat as he struck 72 batting at No. 8 on debut against Essex.
He floated into the crease with good effect in 2017, too, with 61 wickets at 25 and an average of more than 45 with the bat, a bright aspect of Sussex's flagging promotion campaign. That winter he went to the Big Bash League for the first time and subsequently showed his star potential in the IPL after being bought for £800,000 by Rajasthan Royals.
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