Jofra Archer has finally thrown light on the infamous incident where he was pictured smiling alongside England teammate Jos Buttler after his bouncer floored Australia batsman Steve Smith during the second Ashes Test in August this year.
He was criticised on social media for being insensitive and his case wasn’t helped by the fact Smith had to be ruled out of the second innings of the Test and the following match as well due to concussion.
Archer, however, has a different story to tell.
Speaking to former England captain Nasser Hussain for Daily Mail, the Barbados-born speedster the smile was because of a bet he made with Buttler. “Not long before I hit Smith, I’d got the wicket of Tim Paine,” Archer recalls. “Before he came in, Jos said, ‘If you get Paine out, you can have anything you want.’ So I told him my car was dirty. He said, ‘I’ll hire a bucket and a chammy and wash the car myself.’ When I got Paine out, I forgot what Buttler had said and it was only when we were standing together later that I told him,’‘Jos, I think you’ve got to order that stuff now.’
In fact, Archer bonded with Smith when the duo played for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this year. “There was no reason to laugh at Steve. We’d just spent two months with him at the IPL earlier in the year. I did see how it looked, but that’s why I am a bit frustrated, because seeing it on TV doesn’t show the full side,” the 24-year-old said.
When asked what was his reaction after witnessing Smith falling, he replied, “Whether he was all right. I got a lot of grief for the way I reacted, but a lot of people don’t know the full story. A lot of people don’t know what I did as soon as the innings was over anyway. I went to the dressing room but he’d already left. I’d already spoken to the physio to make sure he was all right.”