Jofra Archer is one of the most talented young cricketers in the world, so the fact he will be eligible to play for England next year is very exciting.
The England and Wales Cricket Board have sped up the process from seven years of residency to three, meaning Archer, who was born in Barbados but has a British passport, will be available to play in the World Cup and Ashes in 2019.
Archer has always said he wants to play for England, so for me it’s a no-brainer. If the 23-year-old had been forced to wait another four years it would have been a real shame.
As it is he has his best years ahead of him and can fulfil his huge potential in international cricket as well as in Twenty20 leagues around the world.
Archer joined Sussex in 2015 – the year I retired – but even then he was held in high regard as one to look out for in the future. He had all the attributes you need to succeed in international cricket.
Now he’s got the world at his feet and I think he should go straight into England’s one-day and Test set-ups.
If I were at the ECB I would get him onto a central contract quickly because, like fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes, he’s an impact player who makes things happen with bat, ball and in the field.
Archer has shown with Sussex that he can do the lot – and make it look easy. Meanwhile, he’s grabbed the opportunities to play in the Indian Premier League and Big Bash with both hands, finding his feet and impressing straight away.
He makes bowling fast look almost effortless. The right-armer is a natural and his action reminds me of West Indies great Michael Holding’s – he generates 90mph speed consistently through rhythm and a quick arm.
His Sussex team-mate Tymal Mills and England’s Mark Wood have both struggled with back injuries as they try to push the speed gun, but as yet Archer has steered clear and I think that’s down to his smooth action.
In front of huge, demanding crowds in India and Australia he’s shown he’s got pace, variation and the nerve to execute plans – and that’s just with the ball in-hand.
Archer is also an outstanding fielder – he’s athletic, quick and has already pulled off some stunning catches, which means he’ll fit in well with England’s one-day squad.
England already have Wood, Stokes, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Olly Stone and Sam and Tom Curran to call on with the white ball, but Archer is just too good to ignore. He can be world-class.
Although he’s very much a bowling all-rounder he can wield the bat too, shown by a first-class average of 31. Archer’s high strike-rate across the formats shows he’s more of a pinch-hitter, which may lead him into playing the shorter formats first.
So far in his career nothing has seemed to faze the relaxed Archer. He has taken everything in his stride and I think he’s now ready to take the next step.
He’s proven he’s good enough and his availability can be a huge bonus for England ahead of an important year.