Holding advises Archer to ‘block out the noise’


West Indies fast bowling legend Michael Holding believes Jofra Archer needs to block out the noise of social media critics and focus on his game.

Archer faced a terrible backlash after he breached bio-secure rules, including racist abuse which he has reported to the England Cricket Board.

Holding feels that the England team bubble is the best environment for Archer to be in at the moment.

“To be honest, I don’t think it should be that difficult,” said former fast bowler Holding on Sky Sports Cricket. “The environment in which he is, is he’s in a team that has just won the last Test match.

“He’s amongst friends in the England team; he has Ben Stokes, who he is very close to, who is a personable person and also a positive person.

“So he should just make sure that he gets involved with the team, forgets about all the outside noise and just do what he can do. He is potentially a great bowler so he should just concentrate on that.”

Holding feels that one way of limiting the impact of online abuse is to ignore it.

“It’s not easy,” Holding admitted.

“When people are starting to abuse you because of your ethnicity, the colour of your skin, your religion or anything that is physical about you – even if people try to bully you because you are overweight, it’s not easy to get over.

“But it’s all a matter of concentrating on what your job is. Social media is difficult to deal with. That’s why I’ve never had any sort of account.

“If you are going to be dealing with things like that you’ve got to be mentally strong. Archer is a very good bowler; he’s playing for England, he’s playing for a very good team.

“I don’t know exactly what is happening within the England team, but I do know that in successful teams, people stick together and support each other. I think that is what he needs to concentrate his mind on and forget about everything else.

“Just go out there and mix with the team, get involved with the cricket and once he gets a wicket, I’m absolutely sure he’ll just blend back into everything, and everything will be fine.”