Jason Roy is considering his international future after being dumped from an England World Cup squad at the 11th hour for the second time in a year. Roy could still appear in the World Cup should one of England’s opening batters suffer an injury – as he himself did during the T20 World Cup in 2021 – and is currently the first-choice reserve for those positions, but first he must decide how much he still wants to play for an international side that has twice dramatically discarded him.
Luke Wright, England men’s national selector, said Roy was “absolutely gutted” when informed by Jos Buttler that he had lost his place in the group of 15 that will be travelling to India later this month, but that the door for a return was still ajar.
“We’ve made it clear to Jason that we still see him as that batting reserve at the top of the order,” Wright said. “For Jason now, I’m sure he’s got some thinking to do over the initial disappointment. It’s not an easy pill to swallow. The [initial] response was that he’s still available for England. Unless that’s changed that’s how we see it.”
Roy has been invited to join the squad preparing to play Ireland in three ODIs, starting at Headingley on Wednesday, but is yet to give a response, and is still dealing with the back injury that fatefully ruled him out of the series against New Zealand that ended on Friday.
“We’ve given Jason the option of being involved,” Wright said. “To get the news that he was missing out on the World Cup squad came as a bit of a hammer blow, so we’ve left that with Jason. We’ve made it apparent to Jason that we won’t judge him differently for that position as the spare batter at the top of the order whether he plays against Ireland or not.”
Wright explained that the decision to replace Roy with Harry Brook was a consequence of his injury, Dawid Malan’s good performances against the Black Caps, and the decision to take only one spare batter in the squad of 15.
“In the early squad we had [Roy] down for opening the batting with Jonny [Bairstow] and Malan giving us cover from No 1 to No 4, [but] we realised things had slightly changed and Dawid would be the one opening the batting with Jonny in the World Cup,” Wright said. “Then it was a case of the spare batter and what did that look like? From Jason’s point of view, he probably only covers us for an opener. Harry gives us cover from No 1 to No 6. It’s hard to leave out someone with Roy’s pedigree, but also it was so hard to leave out someone with Harry Brook’s talent. They’re really tough decisions and this time Harry’s got the nod.”
Unlike the last two T20 World Cups England do not plan to name any travelling reserves for this tournament, having concluded, in Wright’s words, that “it’s a tough trip when you are not involved in the squad”. Instead they plan to ask a number of players to “keep ticking over” in case they need to be summoned to India at short notice. But Jofra Archer will join the group to continue his rehabilitation from a stress fracture to his right elbow with England’s team of coaches and physios.
Joe Root has asked to play in the first game against Ireland, after four disappointing performances with the bat against New Zealand. “He just wanted a bit more time,” Wright said. “It shows what makes him such a world-class player, that when he doesn’t feel quite right he still wants to tinker and do more. As much as we thought he needed a break, he just wanted another go.”