Ashley Giles has confirmed Jofra Archer‘s “hat will be in the ring” for England selection ahead of the World Cup. But Giles, the new managing director of England men’s cricket and, as a result, a selector, said he would have to talk to the others on the panel, notably national selector Ed Smith, before a final decision was taken.
He also sounded a note of caution over expectations of Archer, who has played only 14 List A games, suggesting it would be unfair to expect “some sort of messiah” if he is selected.
Archer, Barbados born but the holder of a British passport courtesy of an English father, qualifies for England selection in March. That means he will have no chance to make his international debut before England have to name their provisional World Cup squad by April 23.
But while Eoin Morgan, the England captain, has previously said that, unless injury intervenes, it may be too late for Archer to force his way into a relatively settled England one-day squad, Giles suggested Archer’s skills could prove hard to ignore. England play a one-off ODI against Ireland, on May 3, and have a five-match ODI series against Pakistan before the World Cup.
“He is an exciting cricketer and his hat will be in the ring,” Giles said when asked if the World Cup came too soon for Archer. “It will be exciting when Jofra is available. Any guys who bowl 90mph-plus are going to create interest and get people out of their seats. His skills are good and it is a massive one-day year. He will be available from the end of March.”
Giles is also keen not to unsettle a team that has taken England to the top of the ODI rankings and looks likely to go into the World Cup as favourites. And, for all Archer’s success in T20 cricket – he has played in leagues around the world and was the quickest bowler in last year’s IPL – his inexperience in List A cricket is a concern.
“We’ve got a group of players who’ve done a lot to get us to this point and have performed very well for England,” Giles said. “So competition for those final places is going to be strong.
“I’ll have to speak to Ed. I’ve not spent much time with him although we spoke through the summer as a director of cricket of a county [while Giles was at Warwickshire]. I’ll need to get some other opinions as well. I need to know what the coaches are thinking and the captains.
“It is a big year and it would be a bit tough on the lad to think he is going to be some sort of messiah coming into the team. But he is an exciting cricketer.”
Giles also confirmed that he hoped to travel to the Caribbean and India in the coming weeks to see the England side and the England Lions side in action.
“I’ll be going out for second Test in Antigua and some of the one-dayers,” he said. “It is not about me just watching some cricket: I need to get to know some of these guys. Before we know it, we will be into the season so I need some time with them. I have a long list of people I need to catch-up with and a long list of stuff I need to read.”