One of Jofra Archer’s early mentors has told him to stay off social media as he learns to cope with the demands and criticism that come with playing for England.
Roddy Estwick, now West Indies bowling coach, was a key figure in the development of Archer in Barbados and coached him at Under 19 level before he left the Caribbean and threw in his lot with Sussex and ultimately England.
Now Estwick, who has come up against his protege in this Test series, is keeping a careful eye on Archer after his breach of bio-secure regulations ahead of the second Test and his subsequent struggles that emerged in his Sportsmail column on Tuesday.
‘Jofra will be fine,’ said Estwick on Wednesday. ‘I’ve been in constant contact with him because I wasn’t prepared to leave him out there on a limb and I’ve tried to reassure him that we all make mistakes, you learn from them and then you move on.’
It was Archer’s revelation in Sportsmail that he had been racially abused online that saw the episode of his unscheduled detour home en route from Southampton to Manchester for the second Test take a sinister turn.
‘It’s very disappointing to hear of a player being racially abused,’ said Estwick. ‘It does happen. I’ve seen Jofra say he is going to try to stay off social media and that’s a start. If you stay off it they can’t abuse you from there.
‘Jofra knows that’s coming from some people so he’s just got to lie low, focus on the game, lean on the people he trusts and try to block out the rest.’
And Estwick vowed to keep faith with a man who could have been lining up on Friday in his own bowling attack rather than the opposition’s had things turned out differently.
‘I spoke to Jofra yesterday and I’m sure he’ll be in a good space once he knows the support is there for him,’ added Estwick. ‘He’s a young lad and I will continue to support him, there’s no doubt about that. I’ll be there for him if he needs a chat and he knows that. If he wants to ring me again I’ll be there 100 per cent.’