Roy made this choice in order to participate in the Major League Cricket (MLC), based in the United States. It has been reported that he was offered a hefty amount for the first two seasons of MLC, with the inaugural campaign set to take place in July.
Jason Roy posted this text on social media:
“I am not and never will ‘walk away from England’,” Roy said in a statement on social media.
“Representing my country continues to be my proudest moment as a professional cricketer. I hope to play for England for many more years, that remains my priority.
“I’ve had clear and supportive conversations with the ECB about participating in Major League Cricket. The ECB were happy with me to play in the competition as long as they didn’t have to pay me for the remainder of the contractual year.
“As a single format player with no central contract I wanted to take the opportunity to play this competition as there are currently no scheduling conflicts with England. It benefits me as an England player to play as much competitive cricket as possible.
“Just to be very clear, my priority is England cricket, especially with a World Cup soon upon us. It is for me, and for any player, the greatest honour to receive a cap to play for their country.”
Roy, who recently scored his 11th and 12th One-Day International (ODI) centuries in South Africa and Bangladesh, respectively, remains available for selection in the England squad.
The ECB confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Roy to terminate his incremental contract early, allowing him to join the MLC. The ECB emphasized that this decision will not affect Roy’s future selection for England.
The England team will be defending their 50-over World Cup title in India later this year, scheduled for October and November. Roy’s participation in the MLC will not hinder his availability for the tournament.
After his stint in the MLC, the 32-year-old will return to England to represent the Oval Invincibles in The Hundred, a professional cricket tournament scheduled for August.
It has also been reported that Reece Topley, Roy’s teammate from Surrey and another player on an England incremental contract, is being targeted by the MLC as well. This suggests a growing trend where players are considering lucrative offers from various T20 leagues around the world.
The shifting landscape of international cricket has been acknowledged by England Test coach Brendon McCullum. He highlighted the fact that players are less likely to turn down significant financial opportunities in T20 leagues, even if it means reducing their international commitments.
McCullum emphasized the need for flexibility and finding ways for players to balance their participation in both leagues and international cricket.
In conclusion, Jason Roy’s decision to play in the Major League Cricket while relinquishing his ECB incremental contract will not affect his availability for the England team.