England batter, who was signed by Gujarat Titans, opts to spend time with young family
“With everything going on in the world over the last 3 years, it’s added up and taken a toll on me,” Roy said as part of a longer message on Instagram. “I feel it’s only right I spend some quality time with my family. As well as spending time working on myself and my game over the next couple of months leading in to a busy year.”
Surrey released a statement on Tuesday confirming that Roy would not play for them in the early stages of the County Championship season – which runs concurrently with the IPL – and said that he would instead take “a short indefinite break from the game to spend time with his family “.
“There is currently no fixed date for Jason’s return to cricket but he will remain in contact with the club during this period, with staff keen to assist him where possible,” the statement said.
Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, added: “Everyone at Surrey is here to support Jason and fully understands his decision to step away from the game for a period of time in order to be with his family. When he is ready to return to cricket, we will be here ready to help and prepare him for his upcoming challenges in the game. “
If Roy were to be in the bubble throughout the IPL, he would probably need to be away from his family – which includes his second child who was born in January – for more than two months, with the tournament set to begin on March 26 and end with the final on May 29.
Roy is not the first player to pull out of the IPL citing bubble fatigue during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put severe restrictions on movement in the last two years. Several players have withdrawn from the IPL in the past, both before the start of seasons as well as during the tournament, citing a need to keep themselves fit, especially mentally, for marquee bilateral series and World Cups. As it happens, the T20 World Cup will be played in Australia in October-November 2022.
Titans would have been the fourth franchise Roy would have played for in the IPL, having earlier represented Gujarat Lions (2017), Delhi Daredevils (2018) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2021). He went unsold at the 2021 auction but was drafted in as a replacement for the Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh. Overall, Roy has scored 329 runs in 13 IPL matches at an average of 29.90 and a strike rate of 129.01, including two half-centuries, which came in his respective team debuts for the Daredevils and the Sunrisers.
March 1, 2022, 1215 GMT – This story was updated to include Roy’s social media post and Surrey’s statement.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo