England opener Jason Roy is set to end his contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to play in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States.
Roy, 32, has been offered a two-year deal worth around £300,000 by the Los Angeles Knight Riders franchise. The deal would see him miss the start of the English season, but Roy is said to be keen to experience the new league.
MLC is a professional Twenty20 cricket league that will be played in the United States. The league will consist of six teams, each based in a major city. The inaugural season is scheduled to start in July 2023.
Roy is one of several England players who have been linked with MLC. Other players who have been mentioned include Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Sam Curran.
The ECB is understood to be disappointed that Roy is set to leave the England setup. However, the board is aware that MLC is a major opportunity for English players to earn lucrative contracts.
Roy is a highly-rated batsman who has been a regular member of the England team since 2015. He has scored over 4,000 runs in international cricket, including 11 centuries.
His decision to leave the England setup is a blow to the team, but it is also a sign of the growing popularity of MLC. The league is seen as a major opportunity for cricket to grow in the United States.
Roy is not the first England player to sign for an overseas franchise. In 2022, Ben Stokes signed for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Stokes’ decision to play in the IPL was controversial, but it is clear that more and more England players are willing to consider playing overseas.
The growth of MLC is a major challenge for the ECB. The board needs to find ways to keep its players in England, or it risks losing them to overseas leagues. The ECB is likely to increase the salaries of its players in an attempt to keep them in the country. However, it is also possible that the ECB will relax its rules on players playing overseas.
The decision of Jason Roy to leave the England setup is a major development. It is a sign of the growing popularity of MLC, and it is a challenge to the ECB. The board will need to find ways to keep its players in England, or it risks losing them to overseas leagues.