World Cup-winning batter Jason Roy looks set to cancel his England contract to take up a deal with Major League Cricket in the USA.
Roy has just returned from a stint with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and it is understood he has an offer from their affiliated MLC franchise, the Los Angeles Knight Riders.
It has been reported that the 32-year-old has been offered in the region of £300,000 for the first two seasons of the new American competition, which launches in July.
That is considerably more than the incremental deal Roy has with the England and Wales Cricket Board, a retainer worth around £60,000, and he is now preparing to terminate that contract ahead of its expiry in October.
While that would be a watershed moment of sorts – no other England cricketer has ever torn up their ECB terms to take up other opportunities – it is merely the latest sign of the T20 circuit squeezing the sides of the international game.
The ECB is understood to have made it clear to Roy that he would not be approved for MLC while possessing his current contract, but there is an element of understanding around the financial security on offer.
Should Roy resolve to go ahead, as is expected, he would not be ruled out of future selection for England.
The aggressive opener was dropped ahead of the T20 World Cup triumph in October, but has held on to his place in the 50-over side and will hope to feature in this year’s ODI World Cup defence in India.
It has been reported that Surrey seamer Reece Topley, who also receives an incremental deal from the ECB, has also been targeted by MLC, while there has been mounting speculation that IPL franchises could soon be looking to sign up high-profile star names on 12-month deals. Jofra Archer, who was recently ruled out of the English summer through injury, is among those to have been linked.
The ECB’s contract system is likely to be overhauled soon, with longer-term deals and an increase in the value of match fees both on the agenda.