“Jason Roy might not make it” – Michael Atherton on England opener’s possibility of playing in World Cup 2023
By SMCS - Sep 16, 2023 11:40 am
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Former England captain Michael Atherton remains doubtful of England opener Jason Roy’s inclusion in the final 15-man squad for the 2023 World Cup. The veteran also added that his back spasm is a serious concern. However, Roy hasn’t played a single game in the four-match ODI series against New Zealand that concluded on Friday as well. Notably, he has been the first-choice opener in ODI cricket for England for several years but failed to keep his place because of Dawid Malan.

jason roy

Speaking to Sky Sports, Atherton stated: “I think the [Roy situation] is concerning for a number of reasons, including the lack of 50-over cricket he has had since March, when he did well in Bangladesh. The other concern is the type of injury. I speak from experience when saying back spasms are difficult to deal with because they suddenly come on and when you get them they are in the back of your mind. You don’t have full confidence in your body. The nature of this tournament in India means you are flying from venue to venue. Every day is a flying day, different hotels, different beds, lots of travel, which is not good for that type of injury. England have yet to name their final squad and, who knows, Roy might not make it.”

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However, England’s attempt at trying Malan as an opener in the ODI series worked well as he made scores of 26, 54, 96, and 127. Hence, the southpaw will open the innings with Jonny Bairstow in the World Cup as well. While England have rested all their first-choice players for the three-match series against Ireland, former captain Eoin Morgan stated that Jason Roy must play to stand a chance of selection as well.

Jason Roy

He said: “The biggest concern now is Roy’s level of fitness. He has to play in the Ireland series as you can’t sit in a selection meeting with any amount of confidence and pick him for the World Cup at the moment. He has to go through a certain level of game time, recuperation and then possibly another game to try and prove his fitness.”