Barbadian-born fast bowler Jofra Archer has credited England skipper Eoin Morgan, all-rounder Ben Stokes and Joe Root for calming his nerves before and during the Super Over he bowled to give the hosts their first-ever ICC World Cup at Lord's, London, on Sunday.
Speaking after he bowled the Super Over against New Zealand batsmen Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill and guided his team to their first World Cup in the competition's 44-year history, Archer said he wanted the responsibility and hoped he would be given the chance by Morgan.
“I actually went to Morgs first. I had an idea I was going to do it but I wanted to double-check that he wanted me to do it,” Archer said.
“I think it was going fine until the six, and then Stokes told me even before the over: ‘win or lose, today does not define you. Everyone believes in you.’ To back up what he said, if we did lose there is a T20 coming up next year and I would have another chance.”
The match ended in a tie after New Zealand restricted England to 241 all out in their 50 overs, the same score the Kiwis got but for only eight wickets in their turn at the crease. After both teams also scored 15 in the Super Over, England were adjudged the winners by virtue of having scored more boundaries - 26-16- in the match.
Archer said some inspirational words from Root also helped him to hold off the Kwis charge although he was hit for a six by Neesham two balls into the Super Over.
“I knew that if we did lose, it wasn’t the end of the world. I am glad that the guys look up to me and they trust me to do it. The skipper really believed in me, even after the six. A lot of captains could have had their head in their hands, but he was really calm and really understanding.”
He added, "I can’t stress enough, it was pretty lucky today. I am really grateful that we won."
Archer was drafted into the England side just ahead of the World Cup after being initially left out the side but has been one of the standouts of the World Cup. The 24-year-olds pace, bounce and accuracy troubled the top batsmen at the tournament.
However, Archer, who represented the Weast Indies at the 2014 World Youth Cup before being dropped by the selectors thereafter, only qualified for the tournament in the first place after the England and Wales Cricket Board suddenly amended their eligibility rules and he qualified by virtue of his father being a UK citizen.
Having performance creditably in the India Premier League before now, Archer admitted yesterday that he could not have asked for a better start to his international career with England.
“I have had the best two months of my life so far – making my debut, making my World Cup debut, playing in the final in the space of two months. It is really special to me and hopefully I can look back 15 years down the line and say I was a part of that,” he said.
“I hope that any kids watching that want to play cricket now for the whole week, for the whole year and try to pursue it to be professional. We want to inspire the next generation because someone will have to take over from us.”