Jofra Archer, the cricket’s latest sensation who bowled the winning super over for England in the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, has said and admitted that the life, that the cricketers are now spending in this new normal, is tough. There are certainly mental challenges that each player needs to address if they don’t want to compromise their performances.
Archer is currently playing the limited-overs series against Australia, with series on the line as we head into the final ODI of the English summer. After the series, the IPL-bound players will head to UAE for the star-studded show-piece IPL that will run from September 19 to November 10. Archer will play for Rajasthan Royals in the event.
The 25-year old has been playing cricket and living in the bubble since the hosts played Test series against West Indies. After which, he played the Test series against Pakistan, rested the T20I series, and then returned in action for the three-match T20I and ODI series against arch-rivals Australia. He has spent time in the bubble longer than any other player in this period.
Archer said, “I’ll tell you; it has been mentally challenging. We’ve been in here for 16 weeks or something like that. I think it is going to be more rare going home or being normal again. Here has become the new norm. We’ll just have to adjust again when we get some time off.
“The time I spend bowling with the white ball is a lot less than in Test cricket. You can’t run in the whole day. It is actually impossible to run in the whole day bowling at 90mph. If you can show me someone who does it then fair play. I’ve not seen any bowler who bowls 90mph do it for a whole day. “
“I honestly don’t know what it is but if you’re in a good frame of mind I feel you’ll probably bowl a bit faster. On Sunday, I didn’t feel as though I was bowling that fast. At times I felt I’ve bowled faster. For me as long as I feel good, I don’t care what speed I’m bowling at.”
After the IPL, England are slated to travel to South Africa for a limited-overs series and after that, the team will head to play an all-format tour against India, that means Archer could spend more time in bio-secure bubbles and that, again is mentally very challenging.
As a result of these international duties, Archer has hinted that he might skip another star-studded show-piece event, Big Bash League (BBL), for which he plays for Hobart Hurricanes.
“I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure how many more bubbles I’ve got left in me for the rest of the year. I haven’t seen my family really since February and it’s September now. The IPL is going to take up most of October. In November we go to South Africa; well, hopefully we go to South Africa. That only leaves me with a few weeks in December for the rest of the year.
“I love my Hobart family but I think I need to spend some time with my real family as well. When the year turns, we’re going to be back in a bubble in the UAE and India or somewhere. Family time is really important especially when you’re in the bubble and you can’t see them physically. So any time I get I try to spend with them.”
It might be seen that players are professionals who can adjust to any situation but we must also remember that they are also human beings and can miss the very same little things that we do. Archer, being an all-format player is facing this tense and exhausting situation and might miss the upcoming BBL season.