England’s explosive opener Jason Roy believes the unavoidable postponement of The Hundred tournament will only delay the opportunity for cricket to capitalise on England’s maiden ICC World Cup triumph last year. Roy called it a ‘huge shame’ of missing out on capitalising of the feel-good factor but feels the decision to postpone the competition is the right step.

With a new tournament, a new format and new city-based franchises, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was aiming to attract a fresh audience to the game. The inaugural season of the men’s 100-ball competition, comprising eight different franchises, was due to begin on July 17. Whereas, the women’s version was scheduled to start five days later.

However, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) took a decision to stall the campaign launch to 2021 on Thursday due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

With social-distancing protocols and travel restrictions, it was becoming increasingly unlikely that the world’s top international stars would have been able to feature in the tournament. ECB was also not very keen to host the competition in empty grounds without the overseas stars which could have taken the sheen away.

The 29-year-old Roy, a top-tier 125,000 pound ( 157,000) pick by Oval Invincibles, said it is a decision that makes sense. “It’s a huge shame that we won’t be able get out in front of a home crowd again,” he said.

“It is hugely disappointing but there are bigger things at stake.

“Obviously there was a huge incentive for the ECB, it was a huge competition that they put a lot of money into but it’s only right that it be delayed until next year.

“You want the best players coming over and at the moment they can’t. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is at the moment.”

Roy was part of the England team that won their maiden World Cup in a dramatic Super Over victory against New Zealand last July. The big-hitting opener is disappointed not to be able to build on the goodwill earned from that thrilling success on home soil.

“It is a shame. You saw the response to Sky showing the final on TV [earlier on during lockdown], everyone was watching it and we were getting great feedback again.”

“It’s a huge shame that we won’t be able get out in front of a home crowd again, especially after all that,” Roy said.