England pacer Jofra Archer said reassuring words from teammate Ben Stokes helped him to keep his calm in the Super Over of the World Cup final against New Zealand at the iconic Lord’s. Hosts England lifted their maiden World Cup trophy on Sunday night by defeating New Zealand in the Super Over in the heart-stopping final. After posting 15 runs in the Super Over, the responsibility to defend the score fell on Archer and the pacer admitted that calming words from teammates, especially Stokes, made a big difference.
“I actually went to Morgs (Eoin Morgan) first, I had an idea I was going to do it (bowl the Super Over) but I wanted to double check that he wanted me to do it.
“I think it was going fine until the six, and then (Ben) Stokes told me even before the over: Win or lose, today does not define you. Everyone believes in you,” said Archer, who finished with 20 wickets in the World Cup after making his international debut only in May.
Jimmy Neesham belted a six off his third ball in the Super Over, but helped by his teammates Archer managed to keep his cool on the biggest stage of all to set up a famous win for England. “He (Stokes) came to talk to me because of that (Calcutta). He probably went through the same emotions, the same feelings but being on the losing side. If we had lost today, I don’t know what I would have done tomorrow,” said Archer referring to Stokes, who suffered his own final-over nightmare with the ball three years ago in the ICC Twenty20 final in Kolkata.
“To back up what he said, if we did lose there is a T20 coming up next year and I would have another chance.”
Not just Stokes, Test skipper Joe Root too reminded Archer that it was not the end of the world for him. “Rooty (Joe Root) came up to me and said some inspirational words as well. I knew that if we did lose, it wasn’t the end of the world,” Archer said.
“I am glad that the guys look up to me and they trust me to do it. The skipper (Eoin Morgan) really believed in me, even after the six. A lot of captains could have had their head in their hands, but he was really calm and really understanding.”
Still only 24, Archer said the last two months were nothing less than a fairytale for him. “I can’t stress enough, it was pretty lucky today. I am really grateful that we won. I have had the best two months of my life so far, making my debut, making my World Cup debut, playing in the final in the space of two months,” he said.
“It is really special to me and hopefully I can look back 15 years down the line and say I was a part of that.”
Archer hoped the World Cup title would inspire a generation of cricketers in England. “I hope that any kids watching that want to play cricket now for the whole week, for the whole year and try to pursue it to be professional.
“We want to inspire the next generation because someone will have to take over from us,” he said.