ECB fear The Hundred exodus as Major League Cricket offers Jason Roy bumper deal
Top organisers of the Major League Cricket (MLC) have offered England opener Jason Roy a sum worth £300,000 to play in the league's inaugural edition in the USA, reported the Daily Mail.
The tournament backed by billion-dollar corporate giants also involved with the Indian Premier League (IPL) is prepared to offer a bumper deal to the elegant right-hander as they try to entice England cricketers to their competition with a looming future clash against The Hundred in the UK.
July's maiden season of MLC scheduled in Dallas will not be locking horns with ECB's ambitious 100-ball tourney for eyeballs. But the organisers in America believe attracting England players during the stipulated window could be the surest means to avoid losing TRPs.
It's a scenario that the ECB is most wary of as it continues striving to establish The Hundred into the public conscience and strengthen its hold in the white-ball market. The MLC is consequently a major threat, potentially attracting the world's best playing talent that would've otherwise played for the ECB competition and therefore, taking its sheen away.
Roy to play MLC above The Hundred?
But the ECB will not be able to stop a talent exodus from The Hundred if a player decides to leave the home shores for the competition in the USA during the window at the height of the Engish summer. Roy is one of the likely first to go down this path, especially as he has lost his spot in the T20I side and is only an incremental contract.
Earlier this month, the cricket board made no attempt to stop Roy from playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Notably, the first season of MLC will not be clashing with The Hundred, which has a free window from English international cricket in August for perhaps one more season. But if Roy does plan to ply his trade in MLC, he will skip a portion of Surrey's T20 Blast campaign.
And who knows, if the MLC finds early success and expands into August by using its strong financial muscles, it could very well attract a surplus of England players, which would hurt the ECB's growing forces towards The Hundred. Roy being offered an MLC deal could be the tip of the ice-burg that the ECB's Titanic may not survive a bump with.