Jason Roy has broken his silence amidst reports of him leaving England to take part in Major League cricket (MLC) in the United States of America (USA). The star opener has confirmed that he will indeed be participating in the T20 league, but reassured everyone that it won’t be a problem as the MLC’s matches won’t overlap with England’s fixtures.
The Durban-born cricketer has also made it clear that he will be available for the 2023 World Cup for the England team. In his statement, Roy mentioned that he will not receive any payment for the remaining period of his contractual year, which is set to run until October.
Notably, Roy has opted to relinquish his contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) since he is not currently under a full central contract and instead holds an incremental deal. Despite his decision, the ECB has provided reassurance to Roy that he will continue to be considered for future selection in the national white-ball teams.
MLC is due to take place from July 13-30 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas and has significant backing from both India and Australia. Four of the six franchises have investors who own IPL teams, while Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales have stakes in the other two.
Roy issued a lengthy statement in which he clarified his commitment to playing for England, emphasizing that he has no intention of ‘walking away from England’ and representing his country is his most cherished accomplishment as a professional cricketer. He further explained that he has had great discussions with the ECB regarding his participation in MLC and both parties came to a mutual agreement of Roy not getting payment for the remaining duration of his contractual year.
“Following a bit of unwanted speculation over the last 24 hours, I wanted to clarify that I am not and never will ‘walk away from England’. 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,” wrote Roy in his statement on Twitter.
Roy highlighted that playing in competitive matches is beneficial for him and mentioned that his top priority remains playing for the England, particularly in the upcoming ODI World Cup in India.
“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. I t i s for me, and for any player, the greatest honour to receive a cap to play for their country,” added Roy.
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— Jason Roy (@JasonRoy20) May 25, 2023