Jason Roy is considering England’s offer to be a World Cup reserve, with the opener left ‘absolutely gutted’ at being replaced by Harry Brook in the final 15-man squad
- Jason Roy has been left out of England’s final 15-man squad for the World Cup
- His place has been taken by Harry Brook, leaving Roy ‘absolutely gutted’
- England still hope he will agree to be one of their reserves for the tournament
A ‘gutted’ Jason Roy has been asked to put his World Cup heartache behind him and fly to England’s rescue should they suffer injury at the top of their order in India.
Roy is considering England’s offer to be one of their World Cup reserves after a last-gasp U-turn on selection saw him replaced in the squad by Harry Brook.
England hope one of England’s most experienced white-ball players will not only go on stand-by for a tournament that begins against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5 but also play in the last two one-day internationals of this season against Ireland.
But Roy is far from certain of making himself available for the World Cup while staying fit and ready at home and could instead announce his international retirement.
‘It was a very tough decision and as you can imagine Jason is absolutely gutted,’ said national selector Luke Wright on Monday after England named their final 15-man World Cup squad on Sunday without Roy but with Brook in his place.
Jason Roy is considering England’s offer to be one of their reserves for the World Cup
Roy was left out of the final 15-man squad on Sunday, with Harry Brook (above) replacing him
National selector Luke Wright (left) has admitted Roy is ‘gutted’, but still hopes Roy will agree to be on standby for the tournament
‘But we’ve made it clear we still see him as our batting reserve at the top of the order. I know he’s got some thinking to do because this has come as a hammer blow to him. I’m sure he’s hurt and I feel for Jason. Decisions like this are the toughest part of our job.’
There is no question England have handled this particular decision messily. Wright admitted that Roy was initially told, along with the other members of the ‘provisional’ squad, that he was definitely going to India.
But then Roy missed all four matches in the ‘warm-up’ series against New Zealand with a number of back spasms, Dawid Malan stepped in to the opening position that had been promised to Roy, and England decided to reverse their controversial call to leave out Brook.
‘We couldn’t have envisioned Jason not playing at all against New Zealand but things happen in sport,’ said Wright. ‘There was injury to Jason while Dawid took his opportunity with both hands and it became clear he would be the one now opening the batting.
‘Then it became a question of who should be the spare batter in India. Jason probably only covers us for an opener but Harry gives us cover from No1 to No6. He’s obviously been in great form as well.’
Wright confirmed Jofra Archer will be England’s only travelling reserve in India and should be fit for the back-end of the seven-week long tournament if needed while two or three others, including Roy, will be asked to keep themselves fit and ready at home.
Joe Root, out of form against New Zealand, has asked to play in Wednesday’s first ODI against Ireland at Headingley to try to get into 50-over rhythm while Brook has now been taken out of that squad ahead of departure to India next Wednesday.
Roy, 33, will play in the final two matches at Trent Bridge on Saturday and Bristol next Tuesday – if he still has the desire to prolong his career with England. At the moment it looks like a big ‘if’.
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