Jason Roy ends extra ECB deal to play in Major League Cricket but batting priority remains England | Cricket News
Jason Roy says his priority remains playing cricket for England after giving up his extra ECB contract to play in US-based Major League Cricket (MLC).
Roy was reportedly offered in the region of £300,000 for MLC’s first two seasons, with the first campaign due to be held in July.
The 32-year-old’s additional contract was due to expire in October and the ECB has confirmed an agreement has been reached for the batter to end his contract early to play in the MLC. Roy will remain available for selection in England.
“I am not and will never ‘leave 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 to come, it remains my priority.
“I had clear and encouraging conversations with the ECB about my participation in Major League Cricket. The ECB were happy for me to play in the competition as long as they didn’t have to pay me for the rest of the contractual year.
“As a single format player without a 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 English player from play as much competitive cricket as possible.
“Just to be very clear, my priority is English cricket, especially with a World Cup fast approaching. It is for me, and for any player, the greatest honor to receive a selection to play for his country. .”
Roy scored his 11th and 12th ODI centuries this winter, reaching 113 in South Africa in January and then 132 in Bangladesh in March.
England will defend their World Cup crown of 50 victories in India in October and November.
The ECB said: “England hitter Jason Roy has informed the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he is interested in entering into a deal with Major League Cricket in the United States later this summer.
“The ECB agreed to his participation in the competition on the condition that he waive the remainder of his additional contract with the ECB, which both parties agreed to.
“The ECB would like to make it clear that this decision will not affect Jason’s selection for England squads in the future. We have absolute confidence and faith that Jason is committed to English cricket.”
Roy is expected to return to England to star in The Hundred for Oval Invincibles in August.
Roy’s Surrey team-mate Reece Topley, also on an extra England deal, is also believed to be targeted by MLC.
When news emerged that the IPL Mumbai Indians franchise was potentially offering Jofra Archer a year-round contract to control his playing schedule, England Tests coach Brendon McCullum said SENZ Radio in New Zealand: “In recent years there has been a certain movement of sand around international cricket.
“We would be completely naive to think that players would turn down huge sums of money on long-term contracts for much less work in these T20 leagues because they would have to play international cricket.
“Those days are just around the corner. It’s definitely a changing landscape and you just have to be fluid.
“You have work with these players, work with these leagues and try to ideally allow players to have their cake and eat it because you want your best players to play.”