England must pick Jofra Archer - Nasser Hussain

Jofra Archer
Archer was signed for £800,000 in the Indian Premier League auction in January 2018

England should pick Jofra Archer once he becomes qualified as they build up to hosting this summer's World Cup, says ex-England captain Nasser Hussain.

Sussex all-rounder Archer was born in Barbados but has an English father and a British passport.

He will be eligible to play for England in March thanks to new residency rules which came in on 1 January.

"I don't like last-minute changes but there is a special cricketer out there in Jofra Archer," said Hussain.

The updated England and Wales Cricket Board rules mean some cricketers currently classed as overseas players will be eligible to play for England once they have lived in the country for three years.

The previous rules meant there was a seven-year residency period for players who arrived in England after their 18th birthday.

The change means Archer, 23, could be picked in the England squad for the World Cup, which starts in May.

"If you've got an opportunity to improve your squad before a World Cup you must take it," added Hussain, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live at an event marking 100 days until the tournament starts.

"It just keeps one or two cricketers on their toes in these next three weeks in the Caribbean and the white ball cricket before they select their World Cup squad."

England play five one-day internationals against the West Indies, which start on Wednesday, prior to a three-match Twenty20 series against the same side.

Archer is not eligible but could be for six one-day internationals - one in Ireland and five against Pakistan - in May before the World Cup begins later that month.

When is Archer eligible?

Sussex said in November that Archer - who is contracted by the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League - is likely to qualify "at some point in March 2019".

The county explained that the exact date of his qualification would depend on the time he spends out of the UK during the rest of 2018-19.

Can England win the World Cup?

England are top of the one-day international rankings and Hussain says they are favourites to win the World Cup, along with India.

"When you travel around the world you hear from other nations how impressed they have been with the turnaround in the white ball form of England," he said.

"Any one of six or seven sides can win the tournament but, for me, the two favourites - the two sides that are playing the best - are India and England.

"It is a great opportunity for England captain Eoin Morgan and his team."

Hussain also echoed Morganexternal-link in praising the contribution of former England captain Andrew Strauss for the improvement in the country's one-day side.

Strauss stepped down from his role as England's director of cricket in October prior to his wife, Ruth, dying of cancer in December.

"I think Andrew Strauss never gets enough credit for what he's done for English cricket," Hussain said.

"He's obviously had some very difficult, dark days of late and left his job because of his personal circumstances and not because of the job he was doing - he had a job for life the way he was doing it. Eoin is right to pay tribute to Andrew Strauss.

"Our white ball cricket has been a shemozzleexternal-link [muddle] for a number of years. Eoin himself was given a bit of a hospital pass before that last World Cup where literally weeks before he was made captain.

"They didn't have the right side and Strauss, Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss said it was not good enough - it was almost like we were rewarding Test match players with a one-day spot.

"It happened in my era and they decided that we are not going to go down that road anymore - that's why England are now ranked number one in the world."

Former England captain Alastair Cook also believes the hosts can win the World Cup and build on their defeat by Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy in 2017.

"The challenge for England will be if they can deal with the expectation and home crowd," Cook said.

"I think what happened in the Champions Trophy game against Pakistan where, in the semi-final, they didn't play very well - that learning experience from losing that will hold them in really good stead for this World Cup."

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