Jason Roy reflects on ‘freak’ calf injury that ruined his Twenty20 World Cup and believes ‘everything was just perfect’ for England until dreams of the limited overs double were dashed
- Jason Roy suffered an injury in the Twenty20 World Cup against South Africa
- He played no further part and was a huge miss for England in the semi-final
- He believes England were in the perfect place as a team to do the double
- ‘It was such a freak thing, as I’ve never, ever had any issues with my calf’, he said
Jason Roy reckons England were playing at their peak when his dream of a World Cup double turned into an injury nightmare two months ago.
Roy, 31, was aiming to add a Twenty20 winners’ medal to the 50-over equivalent his run-out throw famously sealed in 2019 when he tore his left calf batting against South Africa in Dubai in November.
The image of him being helped from the ground arguably represented the moment that English hopes in that tournament receded even though elimination was not confirmed until the semi-finals.
Jason Roy has recovered from the freak calf injury that ruined his World Cup
The batsman was heartbroken after being ruled out of the tournament in the UAE
Reflecting on that, after marking his return to action with a blistering 36-ball hundred in Wednesday’s landslide win over a Barbados XI, he said: ‘I was in excruciating pain and I immediately knew that was my World Cup over.
‘I was feeling good, and we were in a great place as a team, everything was just perfect. We were playing some of the best T20 cricket we’ve ever played – even just talking about it brings back pretty crap memories.
‘It was such a freak thing, as I’ve never, ever had any issues with my calf. I wasn’t even sprinting at full speed, I was just jogging, and it pinged, after fielding on the soft ground.’
It appeared England had forgotten about him when he walked out to bat at the Kensington Oval in nameless and numberless attire, although it turned out to be a case of the wrong size shirt and jumper being dispatched.
Roy says he is not worried by pressure as it detracts from him being able to do the job
But he provided an emphatic reminder of his identity, as one of the most destructive limited-overs players in the world, by crunching 10 sixes, including three in a row to reach his landmark from the fifth ball of the ninth over. At that stage, England were an outrageous 134 without loss.
Declining any notion of retiring to give others a hit – ‘I saw a couple of the lads walk down with their pads on when I was on about 80 and I thought “surely not” as I don’t think that’s the sort of team we are, we just want to keep pushing and pushing,’ he said – Roy eventually holed out for 115.
Later, the tedious pre-Christmas rehabilitation, which included three weeks of crawling up the stairs at home, had him feeling ‘100%’ in the field.
This five-match series against West Indies, starting on Saturday, begins the build-up to the next World Cup which in keeping with an increasingly mind-boggling international schedule is just 10 months away.
There will be some experimentation at the top of the order particularly as senior players like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan are absent but such circumstances, Roy says, do not heap any more expectation on his shoulders.
‘You can’t worry about whether there’s a lot of pressure because if that fear of failure starts creeping in then you just do rubbish. You’ve just got to go out there and do your best and do your job for the team,’ he said.