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Tom Curran shrugs off threat of Jofra Archer’s imminent availability

Archer will be eligible to play for England next month.

Tom Curran is not concerned by Archer’s upcoming availability (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Tom Curran is not concerned by Archer’s upcoming availability (Jason O’Brien/PA)

England bowler Tom Curran refuses to worry about his World Cup place, focusing on his own job rather than the imminent availability of Jofra Archer.

Archer, the Barbados-born paceman, becomes eligible next month following a decision to slash the England and Wales Cricket Board’s qualification period from seven years to three and is sure to be of interest to the selectors.

Although he has not been part of the team’s journey from also-rans at the 2015 World Cup to favourites for this summer’s tournament on home soil, the 23-year-old is one of the hottest properties on the Twenty20 franchise circuit.

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Tom Curran is part of England’s one-day plans (John Walton/PA)

This month’s five-match one-day series against the West Indies is the last chance for the England incumbents to state their cases but Curran is relaxed about the situation.

“I’m sure he would be welcomed (by the squad), it’s a great bunch of boys and I can’t see why he wouldn’t be. He’s good,” said the Surrey seamer.

“It’s not my job to select the side so I don’t know what the thoughts are but for me personally it’s about doing my thing. Hopefully the rest takes care of itself.

“You don’t take it for granted, you keep training hard and when you get the opportunity hopefully you put in performances.

“In the back of your mind you want to get into the squads and you want to be playing but I don’t get too caught up in it to be honest. It’s out of my control so I’ll be focusing on what I can do.”

It is not yet clear whether England will want to gamble on Archer so deep into a World Cup cycle. There is certainly an appreciation of his talents within the set-up but he would effectively need to be handed his place in the squad before bowling a ball in England colours.

Captain Eoin Morgan is known to place a high value on the team ethic he has overseen in recent years and is known for his loyalty.

If it is decided Archer represents an option too good to turn down, though, Curran could find himself under the microscope.

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Jofra Archer will soon be eligible for England (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Both Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett are vastly more experienced, the re-energised Mark Wood offers considerably more pace and David Willey brings variety as a left-armer.

If Curran has a unique selling point it is his ability – and willingness – to hold his nerve in the all-important death overs, when his slower balls and yorkers have proved most deadly.

“That’s why we train and put in the hard yards. You want to perform at the hardest moments, the crunch moments in the game. Definitely, that’s where I want to be,” he said.

“I enjoy it and if I can keep improving that it’s a big string to my bow. A yorker in white ball cricket is obviously the hardest ball to hit so it’s also one of the hardest to bowl.

“I’ve been trying to work on that constantly, to keep nailing it and I’m always trying to improve.”

Curran has arrived in the Caribbean fresh from an impressive stint with Sydney Sixers in Australia’s Big Bash League. He was a key part of the their surge to the semi-finals with both bat and ball but had to watch his team-mates miss out on a place in the final from his television in Barbados.

“It was bittersweet. You’re leaving to play for your country but I’d been there for the whole competition and wanted to be there to help them win,” he added.

“But England is number one. This is the really big stage.”

England’s one-day specialists trained at the Kensington Oval on Friday, with those involved in the Test series given an extra day off.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler will miss Sunday’s warm-up match after being granted additional leave to visit his wife Louise in the United States.

PA

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