Many people will undoubtedly disagree with me as I believe after the recent behaviour from England fast bowler Jofra Archer, he is deserving of him missing the last test which commences at Old Trafford this Friday with the series currently poised at 1-1. He was handed an undisclosed fine and an official written warning from the ECB which some, including myself see as just a slap on the wrist for the total lack of awareness shown from the 25 year old. Below are a few reasons as to why I believe the Barbados born bowler should be omitted from the team for the upcoming test.
1. Lack of respect for the ECB
In going back to his home in Hove, Brighton, when given clear instructions to get up to the next bio-secure ground, Old Trafford, as quickly as possible shows a complete lack of respect for the management and the protocols that have been put in place to ensure that this can go ahead. In the current climate, you would expect that someone who is a clear role model and icon for those who not only follow English cricket but also international, he would be doing all he can to keep his image as golden as possible, after last summers’ World Cup heroics. It is strange to think that he would, as a relative newcomer to the England set-up be willing to make such a rash decision that clearly wouldn’t sit well with selectors and potentially teammates.
2. Lack of respect for teammates
Alex Hales was omitted from the World Cup squad for something that was extremely serious in relation to drug use and therefore Eoin Morgan stated that “he had lost the trust of his teammates” which meant that it wasn’t deemed right that he should be around the squad which could disrupt what has been building ahead of the tournament. Personally, I feel this is another example of lack of respect for your fellow teammates by potentially putting them at risk by making this judgment, but also not following what everyone else is doing, remember they are in exactly the same position as himself.
3. Lack of respect for the West Indies
There is no doubt that the WI team have done the ECB and English cricket a massive favour. They put English cricket at the forefront in order to be able to complete a series and get some cricket played here, all be it behind closed doors. It has been well documented the potential losses that the ECB face, with each test match in this series worth a reported £20 million in TV revenue. Therefore, the decision that was made could have been even more costly, and I believe you couldn’t argue with the WI if they decided they felt they were too much at risk after the events that unfolded following the game down in Southampton. For the WI to come over and play a series has been something that we as supporters, the ECB and the England Cricket Team should be extremely grateful for and therefore, this is a prime example of a lack of awareness.
4. We have many other players who can perform
This was highlighted in the performance in the 2nd Test Match. If we look at the pace bowlers that have featured in the series so far, Stokes has played in both taking nine wickets, Broad is second in the wicket-taking with six wickets in the last test, then there is Chris Woakes, who again has only featured in the one test taking five wickets. Out of the other options Jimmy, Sam Curran and Jofra have three apiece after one test and then finally Mark Wood who took just the one. England are not short on options and with the spin of Dom Bess who compliments the bowling attack taking five over two tests as the option to back that up if the pace isn’t working. For me, Broad and Anderson should be playing together, there is a reason why they have been so successful over their careers. Woakes bowled well, clocking up 37 overs over the two innings at Old Trafford with match figures of 5-76, 13 maiden overs and an economy of 2.05. Therefore, he is in a strong position if the pitch looks relatively similar to be selected again. Ben Stokes has to be selected as the all-rounder, what he adds with bat, ball, fielding and leadership means he is dead certain, as long as he is fit, to be selected. That still leaves Mark Wood, Sam Curran (who offers something different) and Jofra. This perfectly illustrates my point that we performed extremely well without him in the team so why should we revert back to him?
As you will be able to summarise, I don’t believe that Archer should be selected on principle as he needs to realise the full implications of his actions. However, there is no doubt that this man has great talent and will play a pivotal part during the rest of the summer. However, I do believe he should be left out of the final test. One thing that is important to stress is that we have to continue to look after him, as he clearly realises what he has done and the impact it could have had. Everyone makes mistakes. I strongly believe it is pivotal he is looked after mentally, as has been heavily discussed over the last few days and I’m sure the team will continue to get around him preparations continue for the rest of what we hope will be a successful, shortened summer, on the International scene.