England’s hottest talent Jofra Archer has expressed his gratitude to Horsham for giving him ‘the chance to come to England’ and revealed he remains interested in their results every week.
The 24-year-old was named in England’s World Cup squad for the summer’s competition on Wednesday after impressing in warm up games as part of the preliminary squad.
He will now play in his first World Cup in a tournament that England are favourites to win, and his fire-power will be a real weapon in their charge for success.
Barbados-born Archer qualified to play for England in March and has been picked after playing only three one-day internationals.
It’s been a dramatic rise for the Sussex bowler who was plying his trade for Horsham as their overseas before signing his Sussex deal in 2016.
The million dollar IPL man has thanked The Lions for giving him the platform to kick-start his career in England - and admitted he even still goes to watch them from time to time.
Archer said: “Horsham obviously gave me the chance to come to England. I played club cricket for two years before and Horsham took a chance on me.
“I don’t think it worked that well for Horsham because I only played four or five games and then didn’t play another game for them but I’m still glad they took the chance with me.
“Obviously Horsham isn’t that far away from Sussex CCC. It’s probably one of the closest clubs; it’s only like half an hour away so I was very lucky with that. A few of the other Sussex boys still play for Horsham so it was a nice club to be associated with.”
Archer also admitted he will still go and support his old club if he is free, saying: “I still look at their results. Sometimes if I’m free I will still go and watch, especially if players like Will Beer or any of the other boys are still in the team, I will still go and watch.”
Archer has shot to fame this year, making headlines with impressive performances, showing all local cricketers that anything is possible.
On his place in the World Cup squad the paceman said: “Everyone welcomed me with open arms from the moment I got in. It’s a really good team to be a part of with great players, a great captain and great support staff and coaches. It is probably one of the better teams I’ve played in.
“I got a call from Ed Smith yesterday at about six o’clock and I answered it without looking at it, and he introduced himself and it was really exciting to be a part of a big summer for English cricket. I put it in my head that I would have to wait seven years (to play for England) so I was always prepared to wait.
“I think I’m ready. I’ve played a lot of cricket outside of 50 overs so I know how to deal with pressure. You don’t forget how to bowl and you get more opportunities to bowl to take more wickets.
“It is something I set out to achieve and I’ve been very lucky that it’s happened so quickly.”
Horsham captain Michael Thornely added: “We’re absolutely thrilled for him. He’s been the talk of world cricket for the last few months at least.
“For the last year he’s just skyrocketed with all his performances in the IPL and the Big Bash.
“I think everyone now appreciates how exceptional he is and I think from his performances in recent weeks it was an obvious and easy decision.
“We’re proud to say he’s a Horsham player and hopefully we can get him down the ground and inspire all the young kids at Horsham to follow in his footsteps one day.”
England’s World Cup campaign kicks-off against South Africa at The Oval on May 30.