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England v West Indies

‘Jofra hasn’t got far to look’ – Brathwaite wants Archer to follow Stokes

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Carlos Brathwaite believes Ben Stokes is the perfect role-model for Jofra Archer to follow after the pacer’s ouster from the squad for the second Test against West Indies.

Archer was found guilty of breaking the bio-secure protocols in place for cricket’s return because of the Covid-19 pandemic, following which he was excluded from the England squad for the second Test in Manchester.

Braithwaite believes that Stokes, who has dealt with “two public humiliations” himself, and emerged from them a better cricketer, is best-placed to guide Archer.

“Stokes needs to put his arm around Jofra,” Brathwaite said on BBC Test Match Special. “He needs to usher him from where he is now to get Jofra to where Stokes is as a leader and Mr. England.

“It’s very, very difficult to come back from those two public humiliations. You think not only the T20 World Cup but what happened that night in Bristol. Two very important incidents, one on the field in a final, one off the field with a legal battle and front-page news. The comeback he’s made is remarkable, so Jofra hasn’t got far to look.”

Referring to Stokes’s advice to Archer before the super over in the World Cup final last year – “Stokes told me [Archer] before the over ‘win or lose, today doesn’t define you – everyone believes in you’” – the West Indies all-rounder said that the 25-year-old needs a “similar chat” with Stokes.

“There will need to be a similar chat to Jofra after this breach,” he said. “They seem good friends. Jof has spoken about their relationship.”

After the end of second day’s play in Manchester, Stokes had urged his England teammates to rally behind Archer as well.

“For us as players, and as the England cricket group, this is a time where our way of operation really needs to come through,” said Stokes. “We really need to be there to support Jofra right now. He’s a big talking point right now, but obviously he is by himself because of everything that’s going on at the moment. The worst thing we could do is leave him and say, ‘See you in five days time.’”

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