South Africa coach Ottis Gibson wants England fast bowler Jofra Archer to have a good World Cup — but only after the Proteas have played the hosts in Thursday’s tournament opener at the Oval. Former West Indies fast bowler Gibson, like Archer, was born in Barbados. Gibson had a chance to observe the then teenage Archer’s progress when he returned to the Caribbean as coach of the West Indies in 2010. Archer, whose father is English, was included in the host country’s World Cup squad on the back of just three one-day international appearances after completing a three-year qualification period in March.
“He’s fresh and he’s obviously talented and he’s got a lot of pace and he’s from Barbados, so I’m glad that they picked him,” Gibson, also a former England bowling coach, told reporters on Tuesday. Archer’s ability to bowl at speeds of 90 mph, allied to a variety of alternative deliveries including a slower ball, has seen the 24-year-old make a name for himself on the Twenty20 franchise circuit. ‘He’s a very good kid,’ Gibson said Tuesday. ‘I’ve known him from Barbados when he was a youngster growing up there, so I’m really pleased for him. He’s got a lot of talent, so he’s bringing that. He’s bringing pace; he bowls quickly. And he’s a match-winner. So hopefully he won’t have much of a say in this game, but then he’ll have a really good tournament once this game is over.’
Asked if Archer had been on his radar when he was coach of the West Indies, Gibson replied: ‘He was only about 16 when I was there, so he wasn’t on my radar. But it’s well-documented that they didn’t pick him for the Under-19s and then he chose a different path. “I’m really happy for him… I know that he’s a good boy and I wish him well.’