Chris Jordan, a fast bowler with a level-headed calmness and a fearsome yorker, found his niche as a death specialist in T20 cricket for England after initially breaking through as a bowling allrounder in Tests and ODIs.
Jordan’s career looked to be going nowhere at the end of 2012 when he was released by Surrey, but he made his international debut less than a year later. He enjoyed a run in England’s white-ball sides in the games following the 2013-14 Ashes tour, and was given a Test debut the following summer.
He played only twice in the ignominious 2015 World Cup, but had shown enough promise in an England shirt to survive the cull following that tournament. He lost his place in the ODI squad in 2016, but was impressive in the World T20 in India that year: but for Carlos Brathwaite’s last-gasp heroics, the fact he went for only eight runs in the 19th over of the final would surely have been remembered more fondly.
Jordan remained a lock in England T20I team, and his performance in a series in the Caribbean immediately before the 2019 World Cup nearly brought him in from the wilderness. But his close friend Jofra Archer was named in the eventual squad ahead of him, and he continued to forge a path on the global franchise circuit.
Jordan, a right-arm quick bowler born in the home of fast bowling, Barbados, was first spotted in his native land by Bill Athey, who was scouting for a recipient of a cricket scholarship back in England at Dulwich College. He became an exciting prospect at Surrey but failed to emerge as the bowler the county had hoped, not helped by a troubled period in the county’s affairs.
Jordan was earmarked for great things after Nadeem Shahid, Surrey’s Second XI coach, saw five minutes of his all-round ability. Shahid immediately called then first XI coach Alan Butcher to tell him they had a gem on their books. Five days later Jordan was at first-team nets. He impressed there and blazed into Surrey’s team in August 2007, looking the part immediately at just 18 years old.
It was a hugely promising start with 20 wickets at 24.50 before the year was out but in the following seasons, injuries and inconsistency stalled his career and he missed the whole of 2010 with a back problem. His return in 2011 produced only 11 wickets at 48.00 in the Championship but that winter returned to play for Barbados and his potential was again evident. But back with Surrey in 2012 his impact was minimal and he was released at the end of the season. He went back to Barbados, with the question looming of who he might play for internationally, and excelled again.
A move to Sussex in 2013 saw his true potential come to the fore, and England soon took notice. Eligible for England through his grandmother, he was selected for two England Lions fixtures in 2013 – meaning he would have to undertake a qualifying period to play for West Indies – and travelled with the full England ODI squad to Dublin. An ODI debut at the Ageas Bowl against Australia soon followed, before he broke through on the post-Ashes tour that winter.
He continued to impress with the ball for Sussex across formats, and has played T20 cricket in the majority of leagues around the world, including the IPL. A useful lower-order batsman, Jordan hit a maiden first-class ton against Essex at Colchester in 2016, and has regularly found himself clearing the ropes to bail England out of trouble. He is also a world-class fielder, whether called upon in the slips, in the outfield, or off his own bowling.
|Season||Team||Match||Inn||Over||Runs||Wkts||Bowl Ave||Eco||BBM||Strike Rate||4w||5w|