Chris Jordan admits a place in England’s World Cup squad was not even on his radar a few weeks ago but is ready to take his unexpected chance with a smile on his face.
Jordan has not played one-day cricket for England in over two-and-a-half years but consistently impressive performances in the Twenty20 format have forced open the door to this summer’s tournament.
The 30-year-old was not named in the provisional 15-man squad earlier this month but both he and Jofra Archer – his fellow Barbadian, Sussex team-mate and ‘little brother’ – have been invited to make their case before the list in finalised on May 23.
The pair will be present when England’s 17 hopefuls meet up for a four-day camp in Cardiff on Saturday and are available for the next seven fixtures – a one-off visit to Ireland followed by a T20 and five ODIs versus Pakistan.
The uncapped and recently qualified Archer has dominated much of the conversation thus far but if Jordan can replicate the excellent form he showed against the West Indies earlier this year, both as a seamer and arguably the country’s sharpest fielder, he may also present an irresistible case to Ed Smith’s panel.
Simply having the chance is a victory of sorts though, having been overlooked in 50-over cricket since winning his 31st cap in September 2016.
“When I got the call I was a little bit surprised, it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind,” he told Press Association Sport.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in ODIs. A month or two ago I was not even in the conversation, but I guess coming into the World Cup they don’t want to leave any stone unturned.
“When I first started out I had only one ball, maybe two. In the last 18 months I’ve developed a couple of slower balls which I can call on in any situation. I’m assessing conditions better too and I want to be known as an adaptable bowler, not one-dimensional.
“I performed well in the Caribbean, got a few headlines, which was nice but until the chance is there why think about it? I’m just trying to string the good days together.”
The identity of England’s pace attack appears to be the only real question facing Eoin Morgan’s side – provided a spate of injury niggles settle down and opener Alex Hales conquers the personal issues which have kept him out of action for Nottinghamshire – but Jordan is not wasting time weighing up his prospects.
“Getting myself to this stage I haven’t thought about it so why start now?” he said.
“That can cloud your judgement or let bad habits creep in. It wouldn’t be right to take my mind there. The last 12 months or so I’ve made a point to just enjoy my cricket and enjoy playing.
“Any professional sportsman who says they don’t feel pressure would be lying but I’m always looking to take the pressure off. My goal is to have fun and play with a smile.”
It is Jordan’s fate, at least for the time being, to be asked about Archer wherever he goes but only because of the closeness of the bond they share.
For a long time it looked as though their England careers would never overlap, but once residency rules were cut from seven years to four a dream scenario became possible. In Malahide, on May 3, might an Irish batsman be dismissed caught Jordan, bowled Archer?
“I reckon that would be the pinnacle, if that ends up being his first wicket. It would be the highlight of my career,” he added.
“I’ve been on his journey every step of the way and it would be a really proud moment if we could play together for England. It’s hard to put it into words because he’s like my little brother.”