<
>

Stokes, Hales 'dealing well' with Bristol fall-out - Roy

play
Opener competition 'healthy for English cricket' - Roy (1:34)

England batsman Jason Roy discusses his form over the summer, competition in the England squad and how Ben Stokes is getting on (1:34)

Jason Roy believes that Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have "dealt extremely well" with the fall-out of Stokes' arrest in Bristol in September, an incident that inadvertently allowed Roy to reclaim his place at the top of England's ODI batting order.

Speaking at the Chance to Shine Awards at Lord's, Roy reflected on a disappointing personal season in England's limited-overs teams, but added that he was proud of the way he put aside England's huge off-field issue to rediscover his form in the final two matches of the international summer.

"The team wasn't that focused given the events that happened, but as with most sports, you have to come in and take your opportunities," Roy told ESPNcricinfo. "You have to blank out all the stuff that's happening in the media, all the stuff that people are saying to you about what's happened in previous games, and just crack on with the next delivery."

The circumstances of Roy's return to the side could hardly have been less of a cause for celebration for the player, who had been dropped during England's Champions Trophy campaign after mustering 51 runs in eight ODI innings.

He had seemed resigned to a long stint on the sidelines, but was instead drafted back in for the fourth ODI against West Indies as a direct replacement for Hales, who had returned to Bristol to help police with their enquiries after emerging as a key witness following Stokes' arrest at 2.30am on the morning after England's victory in the Bristol ODI.

Roy seized his chance, scoring 84 in his comeback at The Oval and 96 in the season finale at the Ageas Bowl two days later, as England wrapped up a 4-0 series win.

"For England it was a disappointing international summer," he said. "I went over to the IPL, got sidelined for a couple of games, came back and didn't have that rhythm that I usually have. And then in the Champions Trophy, I tried a few stupid things, and got myself in a bit of a rut.

"I've always been pretty honest with myself and with everybody else about where I'm at, and yeah, I got myself in a bit of a rut and I couldn't really get out of it. Then found my way with a few runs in the county game with Surrey, a few good wins under my belt, and then finished strongly at the end of the summer."

The star of the West Indies series, however, was Jonny Bairstow, the man who had himself taken over from Roy during the Champions Trophy, and who marked his promotion with two hundreds in a Man of the Series display.

"It is healthy for English cricket," said Roy. "If any one of us is sitting on the sidelines, it's only going to be a positive for England. At the end of the day that is exactly the mentality of Jonny, Halesy and myself, if one of us is sidelined then happy days, because we must have a seriously strong opening pair."

Neither Hales nor Stokes has spoken publicly since the Bristol incident. However, both men were present at Roy's wedding in France in October, where they were pictured smiling and joining in the festivities.

"They are fine," Roy added. "It was obviously an unfortunate event, an unfortunate period, but they came to my wedding, all bearing smiles and everything was all good. Obviously it's something we wish didn't happen, but it did. They've actually dealt with it extremely well."

Jason Roy was supporting Chance to Shine, the national charity who aim to spread the power of cricket through schools and communities. NatWest have partnered with Chance to Shine as part of their Cricket has no boundaries campaign, championing diversity and inclusion in cricket.