Jofra Archer: England World Cup squad place would 'not be fair morally'

Watch Woakes' interview with BBC Sport's Adam Mountford

It would "not be fair morally" for England to pick the uncapped Jofra Archer in their World Cup squad, says fellow all-rounder Chris Woakes.

Sussex's Archer, 24, has played only 14 one-day matches in his career but has impressed in Twenty20 cricket.

England, the world's number one side, name their provisional 15-man squad on Wednesday.

"If he was to come in and someone was to miss out, it would be extremely unfortunate," Woakes told BBC Sport.

Asked if it was fair that Archer could replace someone who has been part of the squad for three years, Woakes said: "Fair probably is not the right word.

"It probably wouldn't be fair, morally, but at the same time it's the nature of international sport."

Chris Woakes tweet after initial story on Jofra Archer
Woakes wrote this on Twitter after BBC Sport tweeted out the story

Barbados-born fast bowler Archer, whose father is English, has a UK passport. He qualified earlier this year after the England and Wales Cricket Board changed its residency rules.

Rated one of the most valuable limited-overs players in the world because of his 90mph bowling, athletic fielding and aggressive batting, he is currently playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

England coach Trevor Bayliss said Archer will feature in the one-day internationals against Ireland and Pakistan in May, with England also naming a 17-man squad for those matches on Wednesday.

Woakes said: "We've been a tight-knit group for the last two to three years, played some really strong cricket, won a lot of series

"Apart from a personal level, I wouldn't want to see any of my mates and team-mates miss out.

"But it's the nature of international cricket that there is always someone knocking on the door.

"I don't think it would disrupt the team because everyone would find a way to move on and we're trying to win a World Cup for England - that's the bigger picture."

'Everyone will be looking over their shoulder'

Even if Archer is not included in the provisional World Cup squad, England can make changes to it until 23 May. They face South Africa in the tournament opener on 30 May.

Woakes described Archer, who has signed for £800,000 by Rajasthan in last year's IPL, as a "world-class player".

Asked whether there would be extra pressure on Archer if he was called up, Woakes said: "He might thrive off it or it might have the opposite effect.

"But from what everyone is hearing he might be part of the Ireland and Pakistan matches so there will be pressure on everyone to perform.

"Everyone will be looking over their shoulder and that's a good place to be as a team because it constantly makes you want to improve and make sure you are a part of that 15."

England seamer David Willey said in March that he did not know "whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they're available".

Last week, fast bowler Mark Wood said selecting Archer risked changing the "dynamic" of Eoin Morgan's side.

But all-rounder Ben Stokes, who plays alongside Archer for the Royals, said he is the most "naturally gifted" bowler he has seen.

Change for the better if you can - Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, who played 88 ODIs between 1989 and 2003, said the selectors should pick Archer for the World Cup.

He told BBC Sport: "He's got to play against Pakistan because he is a unique talent and you want to see what he is like. You don't want his first game to be a World Cup semi-final facing Virat Kohli.

"However they go, someone is going to be very disappointed. Someone is going to have built their last three years towards playing in a home World Cup and could be left out for Archer."

Hussain added that "if you can change for the better, you should" and the prospect of picking Archer does not remind him of "panicky" changes previous England sides have made shortly before tournaments.

"I'm not worried about disruption because the lads that have played alongside him in franchise cricket have seen his talent and they're not stupid. When they see a special talent, they back him," he said.

"Either way it's a win-win. If they don't pick him, it's a pretty good side anyway."