NASSER HUSSAIN: Jofra Archer clearly hurts … I don’t see how he can play bowling on Friday. Now it is up to the English game to give him the support he needs
- The vitriol that Jofra Archer has dealt with on Twitter and Instagram is something else
- Even in a normal summer, it would be difficult for him to deal with what he’s had
- It has become even more difficult because he had to remain in isolation for five days
As a classic car that has never had to do with social media, I have a lot of sympathy for Jofra Archer.
In my time, if you made a mistake, you’d lock yourself up and make sure you didn’t read the papers. The vitriole these guys face on Twitter and Instagram is slightly different.
Even if this were a normal summer, it would be hard for Jofra to deal with what he’s been through since taking that detour to Hove instead of going straight to Manchester.
Nasser Hussain has a lot of sympathy for Jofra Archer after the events of the past week
The vitriol cricketers on Instagram and Twitter are slightly different from the past
But it is made even more difficult by the fact that he had to go into isolation for five days when he had time to read and ponder everything that was written about him.
It cannot be healthy, and I am sure the ECB understands that they now have a duty of care to him. Someone has to put an arm around his shoulder and make sure he’s okay, and it was good to hear that Joe Root and Ben Stokes did just that.
As it stands, I don’t see how he can play in Friday’s third test, when England needs him to be on top of his game. If he turns around and says, “Look, I’ve had a meltdown, I took it out of my system, and I’m ready to play,” that’s different. But it is clear that he is very hurt by the reaction to what he has done.
It has become even more difficult because he had to remain in isolation for five days
And let’s be clear. He made a big mistake. With all the work that the ECB and others have put into creating this biologically safe environment, it could have been expensive for all levels of English cricket. But we all make mistakes. He has served his sentence. We must go further.
Some criticism is part of being a professional athlete. You are a rooster for a minute, if you win a World Cup final for your country, then the people are on your back because you are struggling with the Kookaburra on flat fields in New Zealand.
And because Jofra has this wonderfully relaxed action, it’s easy for some to accuse him of lack of interest when he’s not bowling at 95 miles per hour.
The ECB should understand that after these events they have a duty of care to Archer
But as for the dirtier things he dealt with on Twitter, I just can’t understand what’s going through some people’s minds. Some of the things I’ve seen recently were downright awful – and I’ve been wondering if I want to be on social media myself.
Nobody should have to deal with that. And I repeat: my main feeling is that of compassion for a young boy who had heard very little pepole about 18 months ago. Suddenly he is put in the spotlight.
It is up to the English game to give him the support he needs.