Jofra Archer: ‘I had a bit of a cry’ on return to action in Barbados

Jofra Archer had tears in his eyes as he surveyed the scene at Kensington Oval, about to represent England but, for the first time, in his motherland. When his name was announced at the start of the second over, his first in the match against Scotland, the cheering could hardly have been louder or warmer than if he had been wearing maroon.

Jofra Archer speaks to the media ahead of England’s match with AustraliaGetty Images

In March, Archer played his first competitive cricket since his elbow injury in Barbados. He felt he was fully fit from the first of five club matches. But it wasn’t until he bowled against Pakistan at the Oval in the fifth T20I that he knew his body was up to the rigours of international cricket.

“It’s alright to train and it’s alright to play in games here, but to get that last 10% intensity and [feel] actually, the body is okay. You know when you are able to step it up and the body takes it, then that’s really, really refreshing.”

Archer will not play Test cricket this summer. But his (hopefully) eventual return to Test cricket is being managed just as carefully as his rehab leading up to this tournament.

“I’ve got a PDF file of every single game I’m supposed to play in from now till next summer anyway,” he said. “Yeah, they’ve really planned out almost everything. Probably the only thing they haven’t planned out is the showers I take. It’s been really, really good. Even when I wasn’t playing, they made me feel really involved as well. They sent me targets that I’d keep trying to tick off and it’s really nice that they’re actually falling into place, honestly.”

England have one more match at Kensington Oval before moving to Antigua for the rest of their group matches, the highly anticipated clash with Australia that, after the washout against Scotland, may be crucial to their T20 World Cup hopes. The majority of fans will again be cheering, not just for England, but for one of their own. But there are a few extra guests Archer would like to sneak into Kensington Oval; his beloved dogs. Whether he can get them past security is another matter.

“I can definitely try. I can put one of those service jackets on him and probably get caned, something like that.”

The animal lover has added a couple of parrots to his menagerie, named Jessie and James. Not after the American outlaw, but for two characters in the Pokemon video game. They play for Team Rocket.

England would dearly love to see Archer fire a few rockets of his own when they face Australia on Saturday.

Melinda Farrell is a journalist and broadcaster