sport news Archer hits back at Holding for attack on players not taking knee in support of ...

Jofra Archer put Australia to the sword and then got on the front foot when confronted by a hostile delivery from one of the all-time fast bowling greats.

Archer was the key performer in a remarkable England comeback at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday that transformed the second one-day international and set up a series decider on Wednesday to conclude this unique men's international summer.

And on Monday he took on the role of spokesman when asked about Michael Holding's criticism of the players of England, Australia and Pakistan and their boards for not taking the knee before games this summer in support of the Black Lives Matter message. 

Jofra Archer has hit back at Michael Holding following his scathing comments against England

Jofra Archer has hit back at Michael Holding following his scathing comments against England

Former quick Holding (right) slammed England and Australia's players for not taking the knee

Former quick Holding (right) slammed England and Australia's players for not taking the knee 

Holding, one of the most erudite and passionate figures in world cricket, said a 'lack of respect' had been shown by the cricketers in dropping the gesture as soon as West Indies went home and that the 'excuses' given for doing so were 'flimsy and lame.'

But the Barbados-born Archer, who has been forced to deal with serious off-field topics in his 18 months as an international cricketer, took issue with Holding and any suggestion that England's support had ended as soon as West Indies backs were turned.

'I think it is a bit harsh of Mikey to criticise without doing research,' said Archer after he had conjured up memories of last year's World Cup with his player of the match display in Australia's capitulation to a 24-run defeat.

Archer was the key performer in England's comeback against Australia at Old Trafford

Archer was the key performer in England's comeback against Australia at Old Trafford

'I'm pretty sure he doesn't know anything that is going on behind the scenes. For instance I don't think he has spoken to Tom Harrison (ECB chief executive). I've spoken to Tom and we have stuff running in the background. We've not forgotten. No-one here has forgotten about Black Lives Matter.'

Sportsmail understands Archer was referring to a number of England player-led projects on diversity and inclusion that will be made public in the coming months.

It is a troubling reflection of modern times that Archer has had to address race almost as much as cricket in his public pronouncements since starting to play for the land of his father.

But it is something he will not shy away from and there was another reminder on Monday of the abuse he has suffered online when he was asked if he felt 'the love' of the vast majority of England fans.

But Archer took issue with the suggestion England's support for Black Lives Matter had ended

But Archer took issue with the suggestion England's support for Black Lives Matter had ended

'Yes I do but there's still a small percentage, you know?' said Archer. 'I may be doing well and then I see things like one lady commenting on my chains (the jewellery he wears on the field). Chains have nothing to do with cricket. If she knew me she would know I've worn chains from the time I was 14 or 15 years old.'

Archer does feel, though, that progress is being made on the more serious abuse he has received. One instance he highlighted in a column for Sportsmail was reported to police

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