Jofra Archer snapped three wickets for Rajasthan Royals in his debut Indian Premier League (IPL) performance this year. @ BCCI
Jofra Archer snapped three wickets for Rajasthan Royals in his debut Indian Premier League (IPL) performance this year. @ BCCI

When 23-year-old fast bowler Jofra Archer snapped three wickets for Rajasthan Royals in his debut Indian Premier League (IPL) performance this year, the Barbados-born player said that his performance could be a catalyst to realise his two important dreams – playing Test cricket for England and getting a better lifestyle.

Archer may not get to play Tests for England as yet, but he might see himself donning ODI colours for the Three Lions in the ICC World Cup 2019 and as soon as the tour of the Caribbean after the England Cricket Board (ECB) changed their eligibility criteria to three years from seven at their board meeting in Lord’s on Wednesday.

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According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Archer, who holds a British passport and plays for Sussex since 2016, was serving ECB’s previous seven-year residency rule which effectively meant that he would be available to England in 2022, by which he would have been 27.

Archer was also required to be in the UK for 210 days a year – causing conflicting priorities for a man who would be a marquee pick at any T20 tournament around the world.

On Wednesday, the ECB confirmed changed the criteria for players such as Archer, who turned heads in this year’s Big Bash League where he picked 17 wickets at an economy rate of 7.88 and brought it on line with the ICC’s own regulations.

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The change will come into effect on January 1, 2019, which means Archer can make his debut on the tour of the Caribbean which begins later that month. “It may or may not happen but I would love to debut in front of my family,” he wrote on Twitter after the announcement was made.

The new ECB eligibility criteria for players, both men and women, from January 1, 2019, are:

a) British Citizenship and,

b) Either born in England/Wales, or 3 years residence (a total of 210 days/year April-March) and

c) Not played as a local player in professional international or domestic cricket in a Full Member country within the last 3 years