Former captain Sir Alastair Cook says Jofra Archer should be fast-tracked into the England team at the forthcoming World Cup.
Barbados-born Archer qualified to play for England in March after a change in residency rules.
The 24 year-old fast bowler was not named in England’s preliminary 15-man group but is expected to make the cut when the final squad is confirmed on Tuesday.
Cook, who retired from international cricket last year, would have no qualms about pitching Archer straight in when England begin their campaign against South Africa on Thursday, May 30 at The Oval.
Speaking at the launch of OPPO’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 ‘Shot Maker’ campaign, Cook said: “I think he comes into that side. Certainly into the squad and I think into most people’s side.
“We’ve seen glimpses and I think England have managed him quite well. We’re seeing the start of a guy who can bowl 90mph, has great skills at the death, and we haven’t even seen him bat yet – and the guy can bat!
“He’d be in my team, and unfortunately him arriving now means someone who has done a lot of work in the evolution of this side is going to miss out.”
The emergence of Archer, who only made his debut against Ireland earlier this month, has made it likely at least one of David Willey, Tom Curran or Joe Denly will drop out.
Willey and Curran, in particular, have been key men in an England squad which has risen to number one in the world rankings.
“It’s a great situation to be in as the captain, in terms of the competition for places,” added Cook.
“But unfortunately a couple of phone calls will need to be made which won’t be great. That’s the nature of professional sport, it can be very brutal.
“Those guys who miss out will have probably played a lot over the last few years and are going to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. But there’s no other way around it.”
Some observers are calling Eoin Morgan’s side England’s best ever in one-day cricket, but Cook feels they will need to win a maiden World Cup if they are to truly be seen as the greatest.
“It’s got to be up there, hasn’t it?” he said. “Some other very good England teams have got to World Cup finals but this one seems to have all bases covered.
“It’s also the first time England has pushed the boundaries and become the trend-setter. Other teams are now copying how England are going to play.
“Eoin Morgan, Trevor Bayliss and all the players should take a lot of credit for that. But to go down as the greatest side, you’ve got to win something.
“I’m very excited for them, the guys deserve the favourite tag and I think they’ve got a great opportunity to do something very special.”
:: Alastair Cook was speaking as Global Partner OPPO unveiled their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 TV advert and launched the OPPO Reno Series. To view the new TV advert and to find out more info on the new Reno Series, visit https://twitter.com/oppo ::