COMPETITION HEATS UP
Archer is set to feature in ODIs against Ireland and Pakistan in May. © Getty
England coach Trevor Bayliss had hinted that Archer would get opportunities in the build up to the World Cup, with England set to play Ireland and Pakistan in 50-over games in May. Pacer David Willey had also expressed his reservations about Archer walking into the England side for the World Cup saying, “Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they’re available, whether that’s the right thing, I don’t know.”
“It probably wouldn’t be fair, morally, but at the same time it’s the nature of international sport”
Woakes, in an interview to BBC Sport, said ‘fair’ would not be the right word to use if Archer was to replace someone else in the squad. He did, however, add that that is how international sport is nowadays.
“Fair probably is not the right word. It probably wouldn’t be fair, morally, but at the same time it’s the nature of international sport.”
Archer has taken the cricketing world by storm with a run of impressive performances in T20 cricket, coupled with his ability to hurry the batsmen with sheer pace. Born in Barbados, Archer holds a UK passport and is available for selection for the England cricket team, after the board changed its rules regarding its residency rules. The rule now states players are eligible to play for England after living in the country for three years, reduced from seven.
“If he was to come in and someone was to miss out, it would be extremely unfortunate,” Woakes was quoted as saying. “We’ve been a tight-knit group for the last two to three years, played some really strong cricket, won a lot of series. Apart from a personal level, I wouldn’t want to see any of my mates and team-mates miss out. But it’s the nature of international cricket that there is always someone knocking on the door.”
Woakes also saw the positive of someone like Archer coming in, saying it will ensure the rest of squad are on their toes and pushing to do their best every game.
“He might thrive off it or it might have the opposite effect,” Woakes said of Archer. “But from what everyone is hearing, he might be part of the Ireland and Pakistan matches so there will be pressure on everyone to perform. Everyone will be looking over their shoulder and that’s a good place to be as a team because it constantly makes you want to improve and make sure you are a part of that 15 (for the World Cup).”