Jofra Archer, who grabbed the attention of the cricketing fraternity with his fast and accurate bowling in BBL 2017-18 for Hobart Hurricanes, was roped in by Rajasthan Royals during the recently held IPL auction. Archer had entered into the auction with a base price of INR 40 lakhs and the inaugural IPL champions secured him by expending a whopping amount of 7.20 crores.
In his recent interview with Sky Sports, the new Million Dollar Man – Archer – opened up about the hype around him and what does it mean for him to feature in cricket’s most lucrative league.
“I didn't really know how people would take to me, especially at Hobart - it can be difficult having an overseas player who hasn't played any international cricket. I was just glad to be given the opportunity and a chance to perform,” Jofra told Sky Sports.
“If I'd have got half of the money I got, I'd have still been very happy. I just wanted to play in the IPL; the money is just a bonus. I'm most looking forward to bowling at the international players - it will be a gauge to see where I'm at and if I'm ready for international cricket,” he added.
Rajasthan Royals are full of international stars, namely – Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane among others. When asked if he is excited with the idea of playing alongside these guys, Archer said: “It's weird. I watched all of these players when you're younger, and now I'm actually in the same team, same environment. I think we have a really good team. I won't be too gutted if I don't play the majority of the games; I'm just happy to have this opportunity.”
England’s wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler had recently said that cricket would become just a one-format game after some years. Talking about Buttler’s remarks, the 22-year-old Archer said: “I don't want to agree with it, but I think it is looking that way a little bit. I personally want to play Test cricket, hopefully, when I qualify. It's the pinnacle, a great place to showcase your skills and really rate yourself. It was a childhood dream, that's the whole reason why I started playing cricket.”
The Barbados born Jofra Archer is currently playing first-class cricket for Sussex and it will still take him 4 years to become eligible to play Test cricket for England.
On being asked whether he has given up all aspirations of playing for the West Indies or is 100% focussed on England now, Archer said: “Yes. Playing in England is probably the best thing for me. Sussex took a big chance on me, though I was actually supposed to go to Northamptonshire. They did their pre-season tour in Barbados; I played in one of the games against them, did alright, and the coach asked me to come for a trial. But then as soon as Chris Jordan heard that, he spoke to the Sussex coaches and they told me to come down.”
The much-awaited Indian Premier League season 2018 will commence on April 7 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on the returning franchise Chennai Super Kings. Rajasthan Royals will start their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9.