Jason Roy speaks out after ending England contract to join Major League Cricket

Jason Roy insists playing for England remains his ‘priority’ despite ending his contract early to join America’s Major League Cricket tournament.

Roy, 32, is the first England player to end his deal to pursue franchise opportunities.

The Surrey opener is still available for England and the ECB say his decision will not hamper his chances of selection going forward.

‘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, who starred in England’s World Cup win in 2019.

‘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’s England deal was due to expire at the end of September but he has chosen to end it early to play in July’s inaugural season of Major League Cricket in the United States.

He has reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Knights worth around £300,000 and will travel to America after playing for Surrey in the T20 Blast and Oval Invincibles in The Hundred.

‘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.’

The ECB added: ‘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.’

More to follow…

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