My priority is England Cricket: Jason Roy despite signing MLC deal

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25 May 2023 | 04:07 PM staff

My priority is England Cricket: Jason Roy despite signing MLC deal

The England batter says he remains committed to playing for his country especially with a World Cup around the corner

England batter Jason Roy has agreed to cancel his contract with England to play in the inaugural edition of Major League Cricket (MLC)," the ECB has confirmed. However, he has taken to social media to remind everyone that playing for his country is his utmost priority, especially with a World Cup just around the corner.

"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," Roy wrote on Twitter.

"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 has an incremental contract with the ECB that would see him earn GBP 66,000 more per year, which is a top-up over their County Crickey salaries. Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, Matthew Potts, Reece Topley and David Willey too have a similar deal.

ECB in a statement have confirmed that Roy has indeed given up his England incremental contract after signing up with MLC. 

"England Men's white-ball batter Jason Roy has informed the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he wishes to take up an agreement with Major League Cricket in the USA later this summer," the ECB said in a statement.

"The ECB have agreed for him to play in the competition on the provison that he gives up the remainder of his ECB incremental contract, which both parties have agreed to," said the statement further.

The statement also said that Roy's decision will not affect his England selection moving forward.

 "The ECB wish to clarify that this decision will not affect Jason's selection for England teams going forward. We have absolute confidence and faith that Jason is committed to England cricket," the ECB statement added.

It is understood that Roy could turn up for Los Angeles Knight Riders having represented Kolkata Knight Riders KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. Roy's Surrey teammate Topley is also believed to be tempted to play in the tournament.

The ECB are expected to give the players the NOC provided that the matches do not clash with the MLC. And if they do, the board wishes to make the players available for their respective matches.

The MLC is due to take place from July 13-30, 2023 with four of the six teams being owned by IPL franchises. Cricket Victoria and New South Wales have stakes in the other two. 

In his first season with KKR, Roy scored 285 runs in eight innings at a strike-rate of 151.59. He came into the side as a replacement for Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.

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