In order to play in the Major League Cricket (MLC), the newly announced T20 franchise league in the United States of America, Englanf opener Jason Roy has announced to terminate his England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) incremental contract.
The MLC is scheduled to be held from July 13-30 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas and has significant backing from both the India and Australia cricket boards. Notably, four of the six franchises have investors who also own IPL teams, while Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales have stakes in the other two.
“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 on Thursday.
“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,” it added.
On the other hand, Roy put out a statement on social media saying that he never will ‘walk away from England’ despite not having central contract.
“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’. 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,” the England opener said.
“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,” he added.
Roy, 32, also said that his priority is England cricket, especially with a World Cup set to be played this year.
The ECB too in its statement expounded that belief.
“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,” it said.
After this development, Roy has now become the first major England player to have taken the route towards franchise cricket, and to be contracted by private entities.
He was earlier acquired in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who also own franchise in the MLC.