Jason Roy set to end England deal to play in America’s Major League Cricket

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Jason Roy bats for Kolkata Knight Riders during an Indian Premier League game
Jason Roy plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League

Jason Roy is set to end his England contract in order to play in July’s inaugural season of Major League Cricket in the United States.

The opener, 32, would become the first England player to end his deal with the national side to pursue franchise opportunities.

Roy will still be available to play for England and the decision is not likely to hamper his chances of selection.

He will play for Oval Invincibles in The Hundred and Surrey in the Blast.

Roy has been a key component of England’s dominance of the global white-ball game, a regular in the side that was crowned 50-over world champions in 2019.

However, a loss of form saw him dropped from the squad that won the T20 World Cup last year and, in October, he saw his central contract downgraded to an incremental deal, worth between £60,000-70,000.

With Major League Cricket taking place between the T20 Blast and The Hundred, Roy might have been ordered to rest by England, especially with the defence of the 50-over World Cup on the horizon in India in October and November.

Instead, Roy will end his England deal, forgo the rest of his salary up to its expiry at the end of September and earn up to £150,000 for a season in the US.

Though there is some overlap with the Blast, it is understood Roy will remain with Surrey if they reach finals day, before returning to play for the Invincibles in The Hundred in August.

Roy has played five Tests, 116 one-day internationals and 64 T20s for England, scoring almost 6,000 international runs.

His decision is the latest in a fast-changing landscape of global cricket, with the money on offer to players in franchise leagues challenging the primacy of international matches.

In response, England are set to revamp their central contract system, with greater flexibility and possibly more money on offer.

Some players could be offered multi-year deals to guard against the attraction of franchise leagues.

White-ball specialists could be offered small retainer contracts but increased match fees, to make England tours more financially attractive than a stint playing in a league.

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