England bowler Jofra Archer says his friendship with Australia’s Steve Smith is over – while they are on the cricket field.
Archer played alongside Smith for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League but will be on opposing sides when England face Australia on Tuesday.
“He’s a really good guy. But cricket is cricket and I guess it’s time to be friends after,” said Archer.
“Until the game is over, there will be nothing friendly about it.”
Smith and team-mate David Warner have been met by a hostile reception at grounds across the country as they continue their comeback following year-long bans for ball tampering.
It does not seem to have affected them so far, with Warner top of the World Cup run-scoring charts while Smith hitting a match-winning century in a warm-up match against England in Southampton in May.
The defending champions have won five of their six matches to sit second in the table on 10 points, one behind leaders New Zealand.
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Archer, though, is hopeful his time alongside Smith in the IPL – along with England team-mates Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler – will give him an advantage on Tuesday.
“When you play with them, you pick up on things you won’t normally notice when you’re just playing against them,” added Archer.
“So hopefully me and Ben can get together. I think we might bowl together at some point as well. We probably know what to do when he’s in.”
England’s place in the semi-finals is far from certain following their defeat by Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.
They are fourth in the table, two points ahead of Sri Lanka and three clear of Pakistan and Bangladesh, who can narrow that gap to just a point with a win against Afghanistan on Monday.
That places even greater importance on Tuesday’s game – with New Zealand and India, currently first and third in the table, to come in England’s remaining matches.
“It’s the World Cup, so there are no easy teams and no easy games, as we saw from our last game,” Archer said. “The pressure has been on from the very first game.
“I think it is a chance to really see where our game is, having probably the four hardest games last. It will do us well so that if we do get through, we should be OK to pretty much win everything.”
Archer, who only made his England debut in May, has never faced Australia before, having been rested for the warm-up game.
The 24-year-old hopes that surprise factor could work in England’s favour.
“Just from watching the Ashes and stuff, I know it is a pretty intense game between them,” he said. “I’m not too sure if it will affect me coming in without having experienced it before. It could be an advantage, me not being part of what happened before.”