Jason Roy ends England deal to play in America’s Major League Cricket
Jason Roy has given up his England contract in order to play in this summer’s first edition of Major League Cricket.
Roy made a request to the ECB to be released to play in the US franchise tournament, which England have granted on the condition that the World Cup-winning opener relinquish the remainder of his incremental deal.
The 32-year-old will not miss any England matches in order to play in the tournament, with Jos Buttler’s side not in white-ball action this summer until late-August, but under the terms of their contract the ECB could have asked him to rest during the gap between the Vitality Blast and Hundred. Roy’s decision will not effect his future selection prospects, with the batter still England’s incumbent opener in ODI cricket ahead of their World Cup defence in India this autumn.
In a statement, Roy insisted representing England remained his chief priority.
“I wanted to clarify that I am not and never will ‘walk away from England’,” Roy said. “Representing my country continues to be my proudest moment as a professional cricketer. I hope to play for England for many more years.”
Roy is set to become the first English player to sign up to the new competition, which takes place in Texas during the final two weeks of July, with reports suggesting he is likely to turn out for the LA Knight Riders, one of six newly-formed teams, four of which are at least partially backed by IPL owners.
Roy has just returned from a stint with Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL and is set to make his first Surrey appearance of the season in Thursday’s Blast opener against Middlesex at Lord’s.
It is understood that Roy will still be available for the entirety of Surrey’s Blast campaign, including Finals Day on July 15 should the county get that far, before flying to the US and then returning in time to play for Oval Invincibles in the Hundred.
Roy was demoted to an incremental deal last October, having been dropped by England’s T20 side ahead of their successful World Cup campaign, and will now forgo the remainder of his salary up until the contract was due to expire at the end of September.
Incremental contracts are worth between £60,000 and £70,000 a year and Roy could earn more than twice that amount for just two weeks’ work in the US.