<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans%3A400%7CRoboto+Slab%3A400">The Barbados-born Jofra Archer adds spice to England v West Indies World Cup clash.

The Barbados-born Jofra Archer adds spice to England v West Indies World Cup clash.

Written by Asad Naseer

As if Friday’s fixture in Southampton was not tantalizing enough, there will be an extra piquancy in England and West Indies’ World Cup match-up, given the reunion between Jofra Archer and the team for whom he might already have been a mainstay.
The Barbados-born Archer, 24, has been one of the stars of the tournament to date, having qualified to play for England in April after the ECB chose late last year to reduce its residency period from seven years to three.
And though he is hardly an unknown quantity on account of his exploits in T20 leagues around the world, he’s undoubtedly benefited in some of his early outings from a certain surprise factor – not least his ability to bowl in excess of 90mph from an ambling run-up that scarcely requires him to break a sweat.
But according to Floyd Reifer, West Indies’ head coach and fellow Bajan, there will be nothing about Archer that can take his players by surprise on Friday – and he should know, having played alongside him in club cricket while he was still a West Indies youth prospect.
“To be honest, we knew Jofra for a long time,” said Reifer. “He is from Barbados, where we are from. We knew him from the U15s, U17s, U19s so he is not new to us. Yes, he’s bowling quickly, but there’s nothing that we are not accustomed to. We are looking forward to the challenge. So we will see how it goes on Friday.”
Asked if he was disappointed that Archer would be playing against, rather than for, his team on Friday, Reifer laughed and said: “He made his choice.”
“Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that. As I said, we are looking forward to the game on Friday.
“He obviously had the pace [to play international cricket]. He had a few injuries as a young guy. But I’m guessing though he’s fully over those injuries and he is bowling very well for England.”

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Asad Naseer