The heartbreaking tragedy behind Jofra Archer's rise to stardom at Cricket World Cup

England ICC World Cup Victory Celebration

Star bowler Jofra Archer grieved privately over the death of his cousin in Barbados during England’s success at the Cricket World Cup, his father has said.

A murder investigation was launched after Ashantio Blackman, 24, was shot dead outside his home in St Philip the day after England's World Cup campaign began with a 104-run win against South Africa in May.

Frank Archer told The Times: "(His cousin) is the same age as Jofra and they were really close, he even messaged him in the days before he died.

“Jofra was really affected by his death, but had to carry on."

Archer, a rookie in the English team, was given the difficult task of bowling the super over after the final against New Zealand was tied following 100 overs of absorbing cricket.

The super over was also tied with England winning the title by the slenderest of margins at Lord’s on Sunday.

The fast bowler was told just as the World Cup began that his cousin had been killed in Barbados, and he kept the family tragedy secret and away from his teammates in order to concentrate on the tournament.

The World Cup was Archer’s first experience playing for England, having grown up in Barbados.

He contributed with excellent numbers, taking 20 wickets in 11 innings during his England debut and World Cup debut appearance.


His father’s British citizenship qualified Archer, whose parents split when he was only three, to play for England.

Archer is hoping the historic win and his personal achievements can inspire a new generation for the future.

“I hope so,” responded Archer, if the win can attract audience numbers.

“England is multi-cultural. I don’t, we don’t, especially me, we don’t choose where I was born to be honest.

“All I knew was that my dad lived here and was born here and that, I had an opportunity really. There are going to be a lot of kids!


“Even(Adil) Rash(id) and Mo(een Ali), obviously they are probably not in the same situation as me, but they helped the team in ways you don’t even know.”

Archer experienced a tragedy before the World Cup, but expressed England’s triumph as the best outcome for him.

“I think I’ve probably had the best two months of my life, so far.

“Making my (England) debut. Making my World Cup debut. Playing in a World Cup, all within two months, it’s special. Really, really special to me.

Following his heroics at the World Cup, Archer is expected to be named in England's Test squad for the looming Ashes series against Australia in England which begins in August.

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