Jason Roy has turned down the chance to rejoin England for two games against Ireland, increasing doubts over his international future.
Somerset’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore was officially called up to replace Joe Root for the second and third games of the Metro Bank Series on Thursday, with the latter taking a scheduled break ahead of next month’s World Cup, but it is understood Roy rejected the spot.
The experienced opener was ruthlessly dropped from the tournament despite being named in the provisional 15, a second cruel blow having also been cut from the T20 side on the eve of the short-form World Cup last year.
He missed the recent series against New Zealand with back spasms, paving the way for Dawid Malan and Harry Brook to edge him out of the trip to India, but England had not closed the door on the 33-year-old and invited him to link up with the shadow group who face the Irish on Saturday and Tuesday.
National selector Luke Wright also suggested that Roy was being viewed as first-choice reserve for the World Cup should there be any injuries in the top three, but admitted uncertainty over the player’s state of mind.
“We’ve given Jason the option of being involved and he still has the option,” said at the time.
“It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but it’s something we’ll be picking up with him over the next few days.”
By sitting out the forthcoming fixtures at Trent Bridge and Bristol, Roy is allowing others to make a case in his absence in what could be a tacit admission that his own time is over.
He had already predicted a “changing of the guard” was due in England’s ageing team after the World Cup and a permanent place on the lucrative franchise circuit may now beckon.
Kohler-Cadmore’s selection in his stead opens up the possibility of a debut for a player long talked about as an international prospect.
The 29-year-old was stood down from England Lions duty in 2019 after details of his involvement in a sordid Whatsapp group during the rape trial of former Worcestershire player Alex Hepburn.
Hepburn was sentenced to five years in jail after his conviction. Kohler-Cadmore and fellow batter Joe Clarke faced no suggestion of criminal wrongdoing, but were censured by the England and Wales Cricket Board for bringing the game into disrepute, fined £2,000 and made to attend educational courses.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2020, Kohler-Cadmore said: “I 100 per cent respect the ECB’s decision, I know I was in the wrong, and it was a stupid mistake. I thought it was quite a fair punishment for me, and the rehabilitation course I went on, I felt it’s given me more knowledge on the area.
“Since then, my life has had a proper U-turn in how I conduct myself.”
He was selected in England’s expanded 55-man training group that was put together after the first Covid-19 lockdown, but despite a return to the Lions fold has yet to win a senior cap. After a couple of years as a regular name on the franchise scene, he now has that chance.
Kohler-Cadmore celebrated his call-up by rattling an unbeaten 68 off just 31 balls for Somerset on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Kent.
He said: “It feels great to have got the England call and hopefully if I get the chance I can show them what I can do. Whatever happens, I will enjoy the moment.
“It’s a special week for me, at the end of a first season with Somerset which has seen us win the Vitality Blast. I couldn’t be happier.
“Today wasn’t about limbering up for England. I was just trying to help the team get to 450 as quickly as possible and give us a chance of winning with all the time lost to the weather.”
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