England white-ball players including Jason Roy are contemplating the possibility of terminating contract extensions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to accept lucrative offers to play in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States.
English players, on full central contracts, are unlikely to participate in the MLC this year, although Jason Roy, who has an incremental contract with the ECB, intends to terminate his contract in order to play in the cash-rich league.
Jason Roy’s Surrey and England team-mate Reece Topley might also opt for the same move, though his choice may be influenced by his fitness following shoulder surgery last month.
The inaugural edition of the MLC is scheduled to run from July 13-30 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas and has considerable support from both India and Australia.
Four of the six franchises are owned by the investors, who own Indian Premier League (IPL) teams, with Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales holding shares in the other two.
The inaugural season of the US league involves a small clash with the English summer – the T20 Blast semi-finals and finals and two rounds of County Championship contests between Finals Day and the start of the Hundred on August 1.
However, there are concerns in the English board that MLC will likely expand in the future and compete directly with The Hundred.
Consequently, the ECB will not issue No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to allow contracted players to participate in MLC. While players on full white-ball contracts are unlikely to negotiate a release to play in the United States.