Roy ruled out of T20 World Cup; Vince named replacement

Roy ruled out of T20 World Cup; Vince named replacement

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Scans on Sunday confirmed he would be unable to recover for the knockout stages

Jason Roy has been ruled out of the rest of England’s T20 World Cup campaign with a torn left calf. He has been replaced in the squad by James Vince, who was one of two remaining travelling reserves along with Liam Dawson, and approved by the ICC’s Event Technical Committee.
Roy suffered the injury during England’s defeat in their final Super 12s game against South Africa, first holding the muscle while fielding before pulling up lame while running a single in the fifth over of their chase. He retired hurt on 20 off 15 balls and limped off the field with support from a physio and Tom Curran, one of England’s substitute fielders.

Scans on Sunday confirmed the tear and it became clear that he would be unable to recover in time to play a part in the knockout stages.

“I’m gutted to be ruled out of the World Cup,” Roy said. “It is a bitter pill to swallow. I will be staying on to support the boys and hopefully we can go all the way and lift that trophy. It has been an unbelievable journey so far and we have to continue expressing ourselves and concentrating on us.

“The rehab has already started and even though I’ve torn my calf, I’m going to give myself the best chance of being ready for the T20 tour of the Caribbean at the start of next year.”

England could replace Roy with Vince in a like-for-like swap but appear more likely to bring Sam Billings – an unused squad member – into their middle order, promoting either Jonny Bairstow or Dawid Malan to open. They will also consider bringing in a seam-bowling allrounder as Roy’s replacement – either David Willey or Tom Curran – to bat at No. 7 or 8.

Roy’s loss will be hard felt by a side already missing four first-choice squad members through injury or unavailability in Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills. Eoin Morgan, England’s captain, said after the game against South Africa that Roy was “unbelievably important” to the squad.

“He’s a guy who epitomises everything that we are about in the changing room and the way we play,” Morgan said. “You see how commanding he is at the top of the order… he’s as close as we get to surmising how the changing room should play. We’re gutted for Jase but also half-hoping that he’s OK. For anyone to miss the latter stages of a tournament – particularly when it’s been too guys in two games – that does hurt the mood [in the dressing room].

“You got through the names that either aren’t here through injury or other reasons: Archer, Stokes, Sam Curran, Tymal… You look back at the times that you’ve really explored and tried to build a squad, and I’m sitting here thankful that we have done that because we’re going to need those guys in the next game and possibly in the final.”

Roy was the Player of the Match in England’s last men’s T20 World Cup semi-final, hitting 78 off 44 balls against New Zealand in 2016 to set up a convincing seven-wicket win, and his return from injury in the 50-over World Cup in 2019 was a major factor in their qualification for the knockout stages.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98