After England opener Alex Hales declared taking an 'indefinite break' from cricket due to 'personal reasons,' another opener of the side was feared to be in danger of missing the all-important ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. Jason Roy, a prolific run-scorer for England in last couple of years, suffered a serious injury scare while playing for his county Surrey in a Royal London Cup, the premier domestic 50-over tournament in the country, against Essex.
Roy opened the innings for his team with Mark Stoneman but had to retire hurt after four overs had been bowled. The reason for his discomfort which led to him calling the physio on the field seemed to be a problem with his hamstring. The right-hander was batting on 16 at that moment.
It was reported by some sources that the problem turned out to be back spasms. The authorities soon revealed that the opener is fit enough to come out and bat later in the innings. After the seventh wicket fell for the team at the end of 46th over, Roy did indeed walk out again to resume his knock. The 28-year old batted till the end of 50 overs and with some boundaries helped his side get to a competitive score of 278/8. He ended up unbeaten on 35 off just 23 balls with 4 fours and 1 six.
Importance of Roy
Roy and Hales are both part of the preliminary 15-member squad announced by England for the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. While Hales has flitted in and out of the team, Roy has become a regular member of the side and has formed a very potent opening partnership with Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow.
England's ability to post big totals as well as chase them down has been largely due to the strength of their batting order with the Surrey batsman playing a key role. Recently in West Indies, he again showed his batting prowess by scoring a big hundred in his team's successful chase of a 361-run target set by the home side. He ended up as the top scorer with a score of 123 off just 85 balls in that match. Thanks to his innings, England coasted to a victory with more than an over remaining.
With Hales in doubt for the big event, a serious injury to Roy would have severely dented England's standing as the favourites to win ODI cricket's premier tournament. However, his return to the crease and scoring of some useful runs towards the end suggests the home side don't have much to worry about.