• Axed for Archer: Willey talks for the first time

    England seam bowler David Willey was part of the national team for four years before being dropped for their World Cup squad in favour of Jofra Archer.

    His first reaction to the phone call from the head of selectors? To go play outside in his garden with his children.

    The 29-year-old said it gave him perspective even if it didn’t make things easier.

     ‘It’s professional sport,’ he told the Daily Mail in his first interview since the incident.

    ‘You’re flavour of the month one minute and when things change you’re moved to the side. That’s not just cricket, not just England cricket, that’s every walk of life.

    ‘I wasn’t under any illusions. Obviously Archer was going to come in and someone was going to miss out. I hadn’t been playing very well and hadn’t been playing regularly, so I knew I was in the one or two lads it was going to be.

    ‘I was utterly disappointed but I wasn’t surprised. Archer is a brilliant cricketer, there’s no denying that. They went on to win it and I was absolutely buzzing for them.’

    He admitted that he shed a tear when the team won.

    ‘I remember shedding a tear during the final. I’d been a part of that group of lads for four years so it was hard to watch — but I was absolutely delighted for the lads I’d been with in that time and it was absolutely brilliant for English cricket.’

    Willey sent every member of the team a text but not all replied.

    ‘I messaged every single lad who was part of that group in the final,’ he says. ‘I’m not bitter about it at all. I had played with them for four years and we had been on a journey.

    ‘There were a few who didn’t, but yeah …’

    The Yorkshire quick was left out of the tour to South Africa.

    Post by

    Wade Pretorius