England's limited-overs specialist Jason Roy has pledged his loyalty to the national team despite rumors of him walking away from the national team. Despite deciding to play in the Major Cricket League (MLC) in the United States this summer by relinquishing his ECB incremental contract, the right-hander will be available and be in contention for England selection.
The 32-year-old has reportedly received an offer of around £300,000 for the first two seasons of MLC, with the tournament set to debut in July. Roy's incremental contract, offered to him by the ECB in October, will expire in the same month this year. Hence, the ECB agreed to let the opener to end his deal early and ply his trade in MLC.
In a statement on his official social media account, Roy stated that his priority remains to represent England and that representing them is his proudest moment. The South African-born cricketer clarified that the ECB are happy with his decision to play in the MLC.
"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."
Jason Roy wishes to stay in the frame for World Cup selection:
Roy, who failed to make the cut for the T20 World Cup last year, hopes to play as much cricket as possible to stay in the selectors' mind for the 50-over World Cup later this year. He added:
"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 played an instrumental role in England's 2019 World Cup win, hitting 443 runs in eight matches at 63.28. He is likely to be in action in August-September when New Zealand visit England for four T20Is and as many ODIs.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)