England’s opening batter, Jason Roy is reportedly set to become the first player to cancel his central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to sign a contract with a franchise. The Surrey batter will be joining the Los Angeles Knight Riders in the upcoming edition of the Major League Cricket in the United States, set to begin on July 13 to July 30. The World Cup-winning batter is set to sign a two-year contract with the franchise, and with it, he can lose his spot in the England World Cup squad for World Cup 2023.
As per the reports by Daily Mail, the England batter has been offered a deal worth INR 3.68 crore (£300,000), which he wants to pursue despite the fact that he could lose his place in the upcoming 50-over mega tournament in India. Roy is currently under a contract with the ECB on a so-called incremental deal until October, which gives the regulating body some control over his schedule. The new contract system of the ECB for 2023-24 is being revamped to adapt to the growth of franchise leagues. With this, he will become the first England player to walk away from the central contract to pursue ambitions with a twenty20 franchise.
As per further reports by the ESPN Cricinfo, a spokesperson of the Professional Cricketers' Association said, "This is covered by the comprehensive standard playing contract agreed by the ECB, counties and the PCA. It is completely at the employers' discretion whether players are issued an NOC in-season."
The right-handed batter was instrumental in England’s World Cup winning squad in 2019 at home. However, he lost his place in the squad for the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. During the ODI World Cup, he scored 443 runs with an average of 63.29, and a strike rate of 115.36. The franchise that will sign Roy has already signed overseas stars like Aaron Finch, Quinton de Kock and Anrich Nortje. The ECB has reportedly told Roy that his decision won’t impact the next round of contracts that are awarded in October.