It was the worst-kept secret of cricket, but it still surprised Jofra Archer when he was on his way to play 5-to-5 with his mates and Ed Smith called.
& # 39; I was on my way to soccer. I just felt the phone vibrate and answered it on the car's Bluetooth, & Archer says about his call to the World Cup in England, as he sits exclusively with Sportsmail at Lord & # 39; s.
& # 39; I really thought it was my mother or one of my friends because I thought I had the phone call earlier in the afternoon (from the selector Smith president). I said to myself: "He probably won't call today." So I was pretty surprised.
Scroll down for video.
Jofra Archer was on his way to play a 5-to-5 football when he received his call in England
Sportsmail & # 39; s Luke Augustus has Archer ahead of Lord & # 39; s at the World Cup
& # 39; I immediately called my mother. I just went to football, so I think she thought I was calling about something else. I told her and she was more excited than me! & # 39;
His mother, fashion designer Joelle, is not the only one. Her supporting son from Manchester United has caused quite a fuss.
The accelerated path of the 24-year-old fast bowler to the line-up in England is well documented. He was born in Bridgetown, Barbados and although his mother is Bajan, he has a British passport through his English father.
Last November, the Cricket Board of England and Wales changed their residence rules, meaning that Archer would be available on time for the World Cup. According to the previous guidelines, he would not be eligible until the winter of 2022 after a seven-year residency. After qualifying in March, he made such an impression in this month's warm-up matches against Ireland and Pakistan that he was a shoo-in for Eoin Morgan & # 39; s number 1 ranked side.
The prospect of his call-up led to David Willey, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood expressing concern. But, Archer says, there was no resentment.
& # 39; Some of the guys have received my number (Sussex teammate) Chris Jordan and report that they have been misquoted in some of the interviews they had done. They were not shy to come and say "that is not who we are or how we work".
& # 39; I'm always a bit shy. But I had CJ with him and he is one of my best friends, so as long as I had him, I knew it would be okay. I knew some of the other guys from playing at the provincial level and overseas franchise tournaments. But when I started training, the environment was great. & # 39;
The 24-year-old Archer has enjoyed an accelerated path to the line-up in Great Britain
Like Archer; Jordan, 30, was born in Barbados and chose to play for England. The couple are neighbors who live close to The County Ground Hove – the home of Sussex. Good friends all over the world, Archer credits Jordan for where it is today.
& # 39; He is actually the reason why I am here in the first place, & # 39; he reflects. & # 39; We live next to each other and we always go around each other. Our relationship goes much further than cricket. & # 39;
If it's not 5-to-5 football – and you think the director of cricket Ashley Giles will tell him to hang up the astroturf trainers – Archer fills his time listening to dancehall, rap and hip hop music and playing from Fortnite on his Xbox. But cricket has always been his first love.
He got the sport back in Barbados through his uncles, cousins and played in his neighborhood. It is where his entire family still lives, except his father in Liverpool. Family is an important part of Archer's education. Aside from his mother and stepfather, Patrick – who is an accident management manager – the fast bowler has a younger sister, Tsedale, 20, who is in college. Archer, who is capable of bowling more than 90 mph, will certainly be well supported by his loved ones in the next six weeks.
& # 39; My family was doomed to death for the ODI series against Pakistan because I intended to just get over it, because I didn't know I would be in the World Cup squadron & # 39 ;, he says modestly . & # 39; Unfortunately my stepfather used up most of his vacation days to watch the Pakistani series, so he went back to Barbados. My mother is still here and will be until July. & # 39;
And can tournament favorites stay in England until the end?
Archer has been impressed since he played for Eoin Morgan for the upcoming world championship
& # 39; Well, the boys worked really hard and that shows in the series we just had against Pakistan, where we won 4-0, & # 39; says Archer prior to the ECB's Express Yourself campaign, which tries to connect fans with the England team and give them a unique insight into how players express themselves on and off the pitch. & # 39; We're going to play on someone's home field every week, so hopefully those players can push that little bit extra to do it well and then that's good for the team again. & # 39;
The home of Sussex, Hove, is not one of the 11 World Cup locations, but there is one reason why Archer can't wait to run outside.
& # 39; I actually like the Oval & # 39 ;, he says. & # 39; It goes back to playing for Sussex because we always wanted to beat Surrey on their home field, so I always came to The Oval with that little extra pace. & # 39;
And is he worried about the step up from all the Twenty20 he has played to the 50-over game?
& # 39; T20 is quite intense from the first ball to the last ball & # 39 ;, the right arm says quickly. & # 39; If I can bring that intensity and mindset for 50 overs, I am in the best position to play to the best of my ability.
& # 39; But I hope I can bring that extra bit of luck. England has not done so well in the last World Cups, so I hope I can bring them the trophy this year. & # 39;
To do that, England may have to see the old enemies, Australia. Archer is likely to get his first encounter with the rivalry of the Ashes on Saturday during a World Cup warm-up in the Ageas Bowl.
He got into sports in Barbados by his uncles, cousins and played in his neighborhood
& # 39; I'm looking forward to it because I can't wait to experience the rivalry for myself & # 39 ;, he says. & # 39; Watching on TV is so different from sitting in it, so hopefully it goes well. & # 39;
Another weapon that catches the eye is England's group stage match against the West Indies on June 14, also in Southampton. However, the bowler is of the opinion that game is too far in the area for some banter with the West Indians.
But he warned everyone in every country who would try to drag him.
& # 39; If I get hit before six, I may have a word, but I'd rather watch than speak, & # 39; he says.
It was Archer at the receiving end of sledging on Monday, when he and his friends, who play for Egg Fried Reus, lost their 5-to-one match against Turnip Road FC in Horsham.
& # 39; Yes, we lost, Turnip Road was pretty good & # 39 ;, he says. & # 39; One of the guys didn't know who I was, but then he saw something on Twitter and he looked at me boldly. & # 39;
If England goes well in the coming weeks, there won't be many sports fans who won't recognize Jofra Archer.
The ECB has launched its bold # ExpressYourself campaign to make fans from all over the country enthusiastic while England is preparing for a massive cricket summer. Visit www.ecb.co.uk.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) sport (t) cricket (t) England-cricket