On Thursday the England & Wales Cricket Board announced the new competition will be pushed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic seriously hampering this 2020 schedule. Since The Hundred’s conception in 2018, this summer was earmarked for the grand opening. Roy, who was picked up in the draft by Oval Invincibles, based at his home ground, The Oval, was one of a number of marquee players due to take part.
However after a meeting on Wednesday which discussed social-distancing and travel issues that would contradict The Hundred’s aims – such as world-class overseas talent playing in front of packed crowds – it was taken out of the schedule completely.
“It’s hugely disappointing but there are bigger things at stake to be honest,” stated Roy. “Obviously there was a huge incentive for the ECB, it was a huge competition that they put a lot of money into but it’s only right that it be delayed until next year.
“You want to best players coming over and at the moment they can’t. Unfortunately that’s just the way it is at the moment.”
The summer was an up-and-down affair for Roy. The glory of winning the World Cup – not just scoring 443 runs at the top of the order but also affecting the run out that secured the trophy in the final against New Zealand - was followed by a chastening Ashes series. In a tough series for opening batsmen, the 29-year old averaged just 13.75, making it to double figures in four of his eight innings before being dropped for the final Test.
Nevertheless, he was still able to appreciate just how special 2019 was and, as such, how big a blow it is to not be able to capitalise on that feeling in 2020.
“It is a shame,” said Roy. “You saw the response to Sky showing the final on TV, everyone was watching it and we were getting great feedback again.
“It was amazing to relive it with a few of the boys, we jumped on a Zoom call and watched the game, it was good fun. It’s a huge shame that we won’t be able get out in front of a home crowd again, especially after all that. but who knows what will happen towards the end of the season. There are bigger things at stake though.”
Yet as enjoyable as the watching party was, there were still nerves as the winning moment got closer. Roy had messed up twice in the Super Over, fumbling the ball and throwing to the wrong end, before he was given a third chance to make amends with the final ball, as Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill went for the second run which would have given the Blackcaps their maiden World Cup trophy.
This time, of course, the pick-up was perfect and the throw on the money.
“I had to skip to the last ball of the Super Over!,” he laughs when asked if he was anxious watching those moments back. “The nerves were running again! I was like ‘don’t mess this up, don’t mess this up’.”
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