• February 4, 2023

England bowler Mark Wood ‘comfortable’ with IPL decision

Mark Wood previously worked for the Chennai Super Kings IPL team

Fast-paced English bowler Mark Wood said pulling out of the Indian Premier League auction and missing out on “life changing money” was a “difficult decision”.

Wood, 31, asked to pull out of Thursday’s auction to spend more time with his family.

If he had been chosen by one of the eight IPL teams, he might have been away from home by June.

Being available for England also came in Wood’s decision, but “first and foremost it was my family,” he said.

He added: “I just wanted to switch off, go home and recharge for the second reason – which of course is ready for England.

“I’m trying to prioritize that. I don’t want my body to let me down or get hurt a little mentally or physically during the year – that includes the World Cup, Ashes and a big series against India.

“Obviously there were some big names out there who wanted to make a lot of money [in the auction]. It’s great for you. I just didn’t feel like the time was right. Although it is life changing money, I am satisfied with my decision in the long run and hope that it will serve me well. “

Wood returned to England on the India tour after resting for the first two tests of the series. His decision to miss this year’s IPL means he will be available for England’s home testing series against New Zealand in June.

England’s policy of resting players during their winter tours to Sri Lanka and India has been under scrutiny. However, Wood defended the ECB, saying it would be unfair to say that T20 takes precedence over testing.

“There is a lot of cricket this year. The ECB made a good decision that they care about players,” said Wood.

“I know there will be criticism, but when would you get that break? I think it’s good that people get breaks in different places. It allows them to use different people and look at different players. It gives everyone an opportunity.

“If things had been different we would probably play our best team as much as possible. I understand why people are like that.” [criticising] but within the group I think it’s seen as positive. “

Possible clash for English players

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler may not be available for the English test team due to their IPL obligations.

While people like Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran could also be affected, Rajasthan Royals cricket director Kumar Sangakkara says he has received assurances that Stokes, Archer and Buttler – kept by the royals for 2021 – will not be recalled prematurely by England would.

The IPL play-offs meet England’s home test against New Zealand in early June.

“That is our understanding,” said Sangakkara. “The feedback was that they should be available to the franchise.

“Our goal was to get as much clarity as possible because if that were the case we would really be in a vulnerable position.

“We asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India for clarity and they provided it after discussion and after looking at what is happening and what the plan is. So basically we have structured a strategy with that in mind . We are very, very happy to have them as our core. “

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