LONDON: Jason Roy and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have profusely refuted the reports of the hard-hitting opener leaving the England team for the lucrative offers to play in the Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States of America.
Taking to Twitter, Jason Roy shared his statement to address the long-going speculations about him leaving and expressed his hope to continue playing for England for “many more years”, while also sharing that the ECB has allowed him to play in MLC after “clear and supportive conversations”.
“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’,” said Roy in a tweet.
“Representing my country continuous to be my proudest moment as a professional cricketer. I hope to play for England for many more years, that remains my priority.
“I have 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 did not 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 cab to play for their country.”
Meanwhile, the ECB echoed Jason Roy’s statement and said: “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 have agreed for him to play in the competition on the proviso that he gives up the remainder of his ECB incremental contract, which both parties have agreed to.
“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 inaugural edition of the MLC is scheduled to run from July 13-30 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas and involves a small clash with the English summer – the T20 Blast semi-finals and finals and two rounds of County Championship contests between Finals Day and the start of the Hundred on August 1.
However, there were reported concerns in the English board that MLC will likely expand in the future and compete directly with The Hundred.
Consequently, the ECB, earlier, was not willing to issue No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to allow contracted players to participate in MLC. While players on full white-ball contracts are unlikely to negotiate a release to play in the United States.
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