London, May 25
Opener Jason Roy has given up his England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) “incremental contract” to play Major League Cricket in the United States but his parent body has assured that he would still be considered for selection in future for the national white-ball teams.
With global cricket ecosystem witnessing an increasing loyalty shift towards franchise-based T20 leagues, a lot of English cricketers like Roy would be sought after in every league and it might make them think about the amount of time they want to devote in national duty.
Six players from England - Roy, Topley, Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, Matthew Potts and David Willey - have incremental contracts with the ECB. The report informed that these contracts are worth around GBP 66,000 per year and act as a ‘top-up to County salaries’.
The ECB 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.” Roy, on his part, has also clarified that it is an ultimate honour to play for England national team.
“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,” Roy said in a statement on social media.
Roy said the decision was prompted by the fact that he doesn’t have a central contract.
“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.”
The MLC is slated to be held from July 13-30 this year at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas.
The league has considerable backing from India and Australia, with four IPL team owners investing in as many MLC franchises and Australia’s Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales have stakes in the remaining two teams.
The MLC’s first edition is also set to clash with the English summer as the semifinal and final of the T20 Blast will be on July 15, whereas two County Championship games will also be in the same duration. Additionally, the ECB’s Hundred starts on August 1.
Due to these fixtures, ECB will not issue NOCs which would enable their contracted players to take part in the MLC. While the fully-contracted players will not be able to negotiate a release with the ECB, those who have incremental contracts are in a position to do so.
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