Jofra’s take: One does dream and dreams do motivate you

‘I try and not get lost in the things happening around me’

By Lokendra Pratap Sahi in Chennai
  • Published 25.04.19, 3:22 AM
  • Updated 25.04.19, 3:22 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Jofra Archer at the Eden on Wednesday A Telegraph picture

Twentyfour-year-old Jofra Archer, whose eligibility to play for England has been fast-tracked, spoke to The Telegraph from Calcutta on Wednesday afternoon.

Jofra is in Calcutta with the Rajasthan Royals’ squad for Thursday’s face-off against the Kolkata Knight Riders, his last match in IPL XII before reporting for England duty.

At Jofra’s request, no question was asked in connection with the upcoming World Cup. 

Excerpts...

You’ve been in the news for some weeks, if not months... How do you handle all this attention?

I try and not get lost in the things happening around me. It’s the last performance which matters, so I look to let my performances speak.

From Barbados to being selected for two series’ in the lead-up to the World Cup... How would you describe this experience?

Humbling... I’d never thought of getting to where I have... One does dream and dreams do motivate you. But to actually realise a dream, wow.

Today, how are you looking beyond the two series’?

Fact is I’m not looking beyond what you’ve just mentioned.

Till the Royals bought you at the January 2018 auction for a very high sum of Rs 7.2 crore, India knew little about you. How did you get the news?

I was playing in the BBL and my match had just got over... I remember D’Arcy Short and I rushed back to our hotels room to get an update on the auction, which was being telecast live.

Reaction?

I was shocked... More shocked than anything else.

How long did it take you to get out of that state?

Till I reported at the Royals and got used to the management and the structure which was in place.

The IPL would be seen as part of your cricket education...

It has done a world of good to my confidence. After all, the other players in the IPL have at least played a good standard of the game, even if all aren’t Internationals. Playing with and against them is helping me get better as a cricketer.

Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are also with the Royals and are regulars for England. What was it like when, for example, you met Stokes for the first time?

Surreal... Till my first IPL, I’d only watched Ben on the TV... Of course, this season, it has all been normal.

The Royals aren’t having a good IPL. Has that been frustrating?

Every franchise wants to make the play-offs, wants to win the IPL, but that’s not possible... The Royals may not win this IPL, but can still win matches.

Do you see yourself as a full-fledged all-rounder?

I do.

Role model?

Haven’t had a role model, but regard (fellow Barbadian and England cricketer) Chris Jordan as my mentor.

Besides mentor Jordan, who has had the biggest influence on you?

My family.

What made you focus on cricket and not, perhaps, football?

I did play both before my mother (Joelle) and step-father Patrick said I shouldn’t get injured while playing football. That’s when I began concentrating exclusively on cricket.

Was that the only reason?

Mainly... Also, football isn’t as well managed as cricket back in Barbados. I’m glad I made the right choice.

Favourite footballer?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marco Reus... I’d recently gone to Manchester United and was told Ronaldo would be among the first to arrive for training during his Man U days (2003-2009) and would be among the last to leave. That’s commitment.

Strong likes and dislikes?

I’ve always liked keeping pets... From dogs, cats, fish to even sheep... Currently, I only have two dogs — a Pit Bull and a French Mastiff in Barbados.

Preferred way of taking a break?

Being at home. What I’d do there is not relevant, it’s just about being with the family.

The last one... What have you learnt during your short career as a professional?

Being on the road can get lonely... I’ve learnt to manage time... Learnt to get better as a person.