Jofra Archer: England have not forgotten about Black Lives Matter

Bowler Jofra Archer says England have not forgotten about the Black Lives Matter movement despite criticism from West Indies legend Michael Holding.

Holding described the decision for players to stop taking a knee after the West Indies series as “lame”.

Archer, who took 3-34 as England beat Australia in the second one-day international on Sunday, said the criticism was “a bit harsh”.

“No-one here has forgotten about Black Lives Matter,” Archer said.

“I’ve spoken to (England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive) Tom Harrison and we have got stuff running in the background,” Archer said.

“I’m pretty sure Michael Holding doesn’t know anything that’s going on behind the scenes.”

During the July Test series, England and West Indies players and staff took a knee before each match and players wore a Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts.

But that did not continue into the Pakistan series or the current Australia limited-overs matches.

The ECB has said it is committed to ensuring “long-term and sustainable change” for all communities who are not treated equally.

Archer, 25, has received racist abuse on social media in the past and was abused by a spectator during a Test in New Zealand last year.

He has often posted screenshots of messages on his social media platforms to encourage people to report it.

“As long as there is social media, as long as the person does not have to confront you, I think it will still go on,” Archer said.

“My mum always says you can’t think for people. All we can do is try to act accordingly, report it and do what’s best.

“I’m strong enough to deal with it, but what happens when they start targeting someone that isn’t mentally as strong and it starts affecting them?

“We’ve got to try to stamp it out as much as possible.”

‘I don’t have much bubble time left in me’

Archer has spent 87 days in the England bio-secure bubble, more than any other player.

Players cannot go home during a series and their movements are limited while staying at the ground to limit the possible spread of coronavirus.

Archer played two Tests against West Indies and two against Pakistan, and has featured in all the matches against Australia – three Twenty20s and two ODIs.

He missed the second Test against West Indies after breaching coronavirus protocols by returning home to Brighton between games.

Archer, who had four days off between the West Indies and Pakistan Test series and five days during the Pakistan T20 series, described the experience as “mentally draining at times”.

“I’m not sure I’ve got much more bubble left in me for the rest of the year,” he said.

The Australia ODI series finale – England’s last match of the summer – takes place at Emirates Old Trafford on Wednesday, after which Archer will travel to the United Arab Emirates to play for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The IPL runs from 19 September to 10 November and players will be similarly restricted in bio-secure bubbles.

Archer said: “I haven’t seen my family really since February and we’re in September now. The IPL will be most of October. November, we’re hopefully going to South Africa.

“That only leaves me with a few weeks in December for the rest of the year.

“Family time is really important, especially when you physically cannot see them. Any time I have I’m going to spend with them.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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