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AFP
June 24, 2019

Archer puts Smith friendship on hold

Sports

AFP
June 24, 2019

LONDON: England fast bowler Jofra Archer has told his Australian IPL teammate Steve Smith there will be “nothing friendly” when the teams meet in the World Cup on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Archer, together with England colleagues Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, played in the same Rajasthan Royals side as Smith during this year’s IPL. But the England trio and Smith will be on opposite sides for the rest of the season, starting at Lord’s this week — a fixture that takes place ahead of an Ashes series.

Tuesday’s game has added significance for England after a surprise loss to Sri Lanka left them with little wiggle room in their quest to reach the semi-finals following an earlier defeat to Pakistan.

Asked if he thought of Smith as a friend, Archer said Sunday: “Yes, and I’d like to think he considers me the same way as well. “He’s a really good guy. But cricket is cricket and I guess it’s time to be friends after. Until the game is over, there will be nothing friendly about it.”

Archer hopes his rapid pace and some inside knowledge could prove useful at Lord’s, even though he playfully suggested Smith had not been keen to face him in the nets during their time at Rajasthan.

“To be honest, I didn’t bowl at him much,” said Archer. “A lot of the guys probably don’t want to face me or (West Indies quick) Oshane Thomas in the nets.”

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