Fame and hype is not new to Jofra Archer. With a three-wicket burst for Rajasthan Royals on his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut on Sunday, the Barbados-born allrounder knows that it is bound to increase from here on.
Yet, the 23-year-old T20 star feels just like the duration of the format, success can be short-lived in franchise leagues. Archer said these performances can only be a catalyst to realise his two important dreams – playing Test cricket for England and getting a better lifestyle.
“I didn’t grow up in abundant fortune. With the earnings from IPL, I can make up for the stuff that I didn’t have as a child. I can give myself and the family a better standard of living,” says Archer, who, with a salary of ~7.2 crore, is the second-costliest uncapped player in this IPL.
Archer’s mother and sister live in Barbados, while he holds a British passport. He started playing for Sussex in 2016 and turned heads in this year’s Big Bash League where he picked 17 wickets at an economy rate of 7.88.
However, Archer will have to wait for four more years if he wants to play international cricket for England. He will complete England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) seven-year residency rule in 2022 and only then can he realise his dream.
“There is nothing I can do about it. I don’t want to rush. In this duration, I will play county cricket and T20 leagues to earn more experience,” said Archer, who decided to represent England instead of the West Indies after he was not picked in the 2014 U-19 World Cup squad.
Archer regularly clocked over 140 kmph in Rajasthan Royals’ match against Mumbai Indians and took the wickets of Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Mitchell McClenaghan in one over to restrict them to 167/7. He was also named Player of the Match for his exploits on Sunday.
“My personal aim was to be the highest wicket-taker this IPL. That was the target I set after I was picked by Rajasthan Royals but I missed the first few matches due to a side strain. So, I don’t know whether I would be able to do that now. But in the remaining games, I want to take two to three wickets every match. That’s my target now,” he said.
“I arrived late for IPL and still haven’t interacted much with Shane Warne (mentor of Rajasthan). Once he comes back from Australia, I will get better direction.”
When asked about rising expectations, Archer said it was nothing new. “I don’t think it (attention) is affecting me. A lot of things can change drastically in this format. My focus is to do well for Rajasthan. I am working on my fitness and hopefully, I will be able to reach the optimum level very soon,” he said.