England’s opening batter Jason Roy is considering negotiating releases of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) contract in order to sign a contract with the franchise to play in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States, which will begin on July 13 and run until July 30, as reported by ESPNcricinfo. Roy’s England teammate Reece Topley is also considering the same move. However, Reece’s decision will depend on the status of his shoulder surgery which will happen last month.
ECB contract gives around 66,000 pounds per year and is one of the boards that provide the highest salaries to crickets. Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, Matthew Potts, Roy, Topley and David Willey are the players who have such deals for the 2022-23 contract cycle. The MLC will start on July 13 at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas. This tournament includes franchises from Indian Premier League and Australia.
Roy is likely to play for LA Knight Riders but he has to gave released from his incremental contract to play in the MLC. Notably, the inauguration of the league would clash with the semi-final and final of the English tournament T20 Blast which is taking place on July 15. England is little concerned that the expansion of the MLC would affect Hundred in the future.
Therefore, ECB decided to not give No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) that would enable contracted players to feature in the MLC. England contracts run from October to September, so if any player requests release from an incremental contract, it would cost players around 20,000 pounds. On the other hand, each MLC franchise has a salary cap of approx 930,000 pounds – to cover between 16 and 19 players in which they can pick only nine overseas players.
Roy has been signed by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2023 and he was likely to participate in the MLC for LA Knight Riders. Topley has not yet signed a deal to play in the MLC but could consider playing in the league.
“If you’d have asked me when I was young, I’d have said I’d love to play 100 Tests for England, Now, if you asked me, [I’d say] I’d love to go to as many IPLs as I can. I don’t think the stigma around saying you want to play and be successful in white-ball cricket is that bad,” he said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. A Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo: “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 a NOC in-season.”
Marcus Stoinis, Quinton de Kock, Wanindu Hasaranga, Anrich Nortje and Glenn Phillips have signed the MLC deal and players like Trent Boult and Adam Zampa are expected to join sooner.