Jason Roy insists he’s relishing his rivalry with Harry Brook as the race for World Cup selection hots up, writes Sportsbeat's Milly McEvoy.
Experienced opener Roy, 33, was included in Matthew Mott’s provisional 15-man squad as swashbuckling middle-order star Brook was left out.
Brook, 24, has enjoyed a stunning start to his international career across both red and white-ball formats as Roy, a key lynchpin in England’s 2019 World Cup-winning side, has struggled for recent form.
Mott this week hinted Brook could still force his way into England’s India-bound squad but Roy, who could therefore be at risk of missing out, has nothing but praise for the highly-rated Yorkshire star, who struck an eye-catching 80 in just his second ODI against South Africa earlier this year.
He said: “Brooky is obviously a star player.
“He's got a huge, huge, huge future for England, so he doesn't need a lot of advice from me.
We’re excited to announce that along with @ECB_cricket we are pledging to treble the number of girls’ cricket teams in England and Wales. We plan to transform access to grassroots cricket recruiting 6,000 volunteers to hold 2,000 clubs and 6,000 girls' teams by 2026. pic.twitter.com/fyDxror1hK
— Metro Bank (@Metro_Bank) September 6, 2023
“Brooky has played three ODIs at the start of the year and did well – and has got it all ahead of him.
“I'm sure he'll be slightly disappointed about missing out, but I think he'll also understand with where the white-ball game is at.
“He's a great player and got a great head on his shoulders as well.”
Roy knows the World Cup could be his last but is not ready to make a call on his England future just yet.
The white-ball specialist is one of nine returning players in Mott’s provisional squad from England’s victorious campaign in 2019, where he memorably helped seal the run-out that dramatically clinched the trophy for the hosts.
He will now head to India having remained a mainstay of the ODI squad over the last World Cup cycle but having fallen out of favour in the T20s.
Roy, speaking at the launch of Metro Bank and the ECB’s Women’s and Girls’ Fund, added: “We want to go and win the trophy and all that boring stuff.
“But we want to go there as a group and not have any preconceived ideas and just have a lot of fun.
“There's a lot of guys out there that this could be their last world tournament, so we've got to make the most of it.
“I guess I'll see how I'm feeling at the tournament. I love playing for England, I love the 50-over stuff, I love the 20-over stuff.
“And as much as I'd love to be a part of the team forever, that's just not how it works.
“We've got incredible talent coming through and whether it's a chance for the younger players to come in and start blooding them for the 2027 World Cup, then so be it.
— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) September 6, 2023
“I just want to go out there and treat each game as it comes in and enjoy myself as much as possible until that final call comes. Whether that's after the World Cup or however I, or the management see fit.”
Metro Bank have partnered with the ECB to increase the number of women and girls in cricket, and today announced a pledge to treble the number of girls’ cricket teams by 2026.
In order to do that, they will be using a joint fund to invest in new coaches and volunteers to help attract, retain and train more girls to play cricket.
As the Champion of Women’s and Girls’ Cricket, Metro Bank is working closely with the ECB and will use the jointly funded women’s and girls’ Fund to invest in attracting and retaining coaches and volunteers to get more girls into and staying in cricket.
Roy admitted to having what felt like 50 coaches this year as he has hopped from tournament to tournament.
He was reflecting on the role coaches play in developing players with the Together We Rise initiative set to create at least 2,000 core coaches and 6,000 activators across grassroots cricket by 2026
And despite the high number of coaches he has worked with, there are still nuggets of wisdom that have stuck with him.
He explained: “I think coaches along the journey teach you a lot of the techniques and stuff like that.
“And then when it gets to the a professional level, there are guys that look after more the mindset side of things.
“For me, that's far more important for where I'm at now. I was told by an ex player that actually cricket doesn't define us as a human.
“You train hard, you work hard, but more often than not you fail especially as a top order batter, it doesn't define you as a person, so don't judge yourself on a cricket.
“That was something that really stuck with me a lot."
Metro Bank have partnered with the ECB to attract and keep more women and girls in the sport. They have pledged to treble the number of girls’ cricket teams by 2026. Understand more at www.metrobankonline.co.uk/cricket