Mark Wood ready to spend nine weeks in England camp

England planning to resume cricket behind the closed doors.

Wood can be among around 30 players chosen for a run of six Tests behind closed doors | Getty Images

England’s star fast bowler Mark Wood has been an integral part of the national set-up across all three formats of the game despite injuries often threatening his international career and even recently picked up a side strain during the South Africa tour earlier this year.

Since his England debut in May 2015, Wood has played 15 out of 69 Tests for England, while 59 limited-overs internationals from a total of 145, and during the period, the pacer has helped the side to win an Ashes series and maiden World Cup 2019 title at home.

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However, the ongoing pause to the cricket world due to the Coronavirus pandemic has given him enough time to quietly work his way back to fitness from a side strain besides spending extended time with his family and enjoying benefits of fatherhood during the COVID-19 lockdown.

But a rare and unwanted break from cricket may soon end, as the Guardian has reported that England is planning to keep their squad in an 'isolation bubble' in order to reduce the risk of players contracting COVID-19 with daily temperature checks and swabs also part of the regime, as they are looking to returning to competition behind the closed doors amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

While all the cricketing activities have been suspended in England until July 1 due to the global crisis the plan is still under discussion as England has to play six Tests, six ODIs, and six T20 Internationals for more than two months from July with the West Indies series already postponed.

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Well, Wood is ready to spend more than two months away from his family if that's what it takes to play the home international series this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wood told reporters in a conference call on Thursday (May 7), “I'd be willing to do it. Being away on tour for long periods of time you sort of get used to it. It would be very hard but as long as the environment is safe, my family are safe and everybody else there is safe then I'd be willing to do it.”

He also said his team-mates were “desperate” to get going again on the field. He added, “I think everybody in the squad, as long as the conditions are right, would be willing to come back and play some cricket. We're desperate to get going. I know it would be a long stint and it would be hard but it would be good to get back out there at the same time.”

The fast-bowler also insisted there would not have a greater risk of him breaking down given the proposed new schedule, which could feature six Tests in seven weeks.

He said, “I wouldn't have played every game; I'd be in and out of the side to manage my workload and manage my body. I think that will probably be the same for all the fast bowlers, as long as we've got a good pool which I think we have at the moment. Coming in and out of the side shouldn't be a problem.”

Wood signed off by saying, “We've never been in these circumstances before where we don't know what's going to happen on the down days -- I guess you can't just go home, so maybe you'll have to train in small groups. It will be interesting to see how it does work.”

(With AFP Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 08 May, 2020

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