English batsman Jason Roy admits to feeling a ‘pawn in the sports world’ amid a coronavirus pandemic, but insists that no player should enter the field
- Jason Roy has hit a tennis ball against the wall to try to keep his touch
- He is eager to take action again, but said not if it comes at the expense of people’s health
- When cricket returns in July, it’s been four months since Roy struck in any format
- But England’s white-ball opener is about to regain a spot in the Test side
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Jason Roy has admitted that he feels like a “pawn” in the debate about the return of sport during the coronavirus pandemic – warning that no player should enter the field if he feels uncomfortable.
England’s white ball opener says he’s gone mad during the lockdown by hitting a tennis ball against a wall while trying to keep in touch.
And while it itches to get back into action as he offers to build on last summer’s World Cup success as well as regain the testing ground he lost during the Ashes, he’s determined he won’t at the expense of his health.
Jason Roy has said he feels like a “pawn” at the return of sport during the pandemic
Roy admitted to itching to play again after the cronavirus crisis brought the cricket to a halt
“I’m not going to my bosses to say,” Put me on the front line, “he said. “I’m just told what to do. I’m just a pawn in the sports world.
“Everyone misses sports, but safety is paramount. If a person wants to go to the frontline and endanger himself, that’s good for him. But if someone doesn’t want that, I don’t think they should be criticized. I don’t know if the country urgently needs us to play cricket to make itself feel better. ‘
The ECB, which already ruled out cricket before July, continues to explore the possibility of organizing matches in biosafe environments and behind closed doors. But even a start on July 1 would mean that Roy hadn’t picked up a bat for nearly four months, dating back to his appearances for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League.
“It’s certainly a big part of my international career,” he said. “I’m 29: the big three-O is in July and time is moving very fast, but I try not to look too negatively.
But Roy, who hasn’t hit since the PSL two months ago, believes safety should be paramount
“It is a great pity what is happening now, and missing this amount of cricket is quite a daunting feeling as you don’t quite know how you will feel when you come back. You can watch videos and make yourself feel good and train well, but until you face that first ball in the middle, you don’t really know.
“You’re worried about your shoulder after three or four months without a competition … can you start braiding?”
If and when cricket is considered safe to return, Roy – who was dropped for the fifth Ashes Test after an average of 13 against Australia – has set himself up for a comeback from the Test. It’s a challenge that has been made even greater by the winter success of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley.
If and when cricket returns, Roy has taken up the challenge of regaining a test match place
“They found a nice bunch of players to fill that spot,” he said. “But I worked really hard to crack the nut in Test cricket, and getting it off me so quickly was really heartbreaking. I will do my utmost to step aside, and especially to try to prove myself wrong.
“Scoring the weight of runs in cricket with a white ball, and not being able to do that in Test cricket, was disturbing because I really felt I could do it. I still feel I can do it, but I just have to fight for my position again.
“Test cricket is the pinnacle, so it’s hard for me to sit back and say I’m a test cricketer because I haven’t quite managed to do that.
“Last summer was ridiculous. I have never felt so high and so low in such a short time. But it is a fairly small speed bump. ‘
Roy was removed from the Ashes team last summer after averaging 13 against Australia