Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England pace bowler Mark Wood has already undergone three ankle surgeries, the last of which occurred in October last year, but that is not stopping him from giving up on his international career.
Wood was forced to miss England’s tour of India in December as a result of the operation, but having made a full recovery, he is aiming to don the England jersey again at the Champions Trophy in June.
Knowing that he will have to prove his fitness to have a chance of regaining his spot in the national team, the 27-year-old is currently taking part in the inaugural North vs South series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Wood has represented the North in two games and has bowled a total of 15 overs and taken two wickets.
“From a personal point of view I’m really pleased with how the trip has gone,” Wood told Sky Sports. “I came on the trip hoping I might get one game. I’ve ended up with two and not so much pain in there so I’m really pleased.
“I’m just building up into the season where hopefully I can bowl more and get myself back into the international scene.
“I’ve got to start the season with Durham in the County Championship – that will mean more overs so I can test my body and see where it’s at. Then coming into Champions Trophy time that’s when I’ll hopefully be targeting for England.
“It’s been a hugely frustrating time and I’m hoping – for the third time saying it – this is the last time and I can really start cracking on for Durham and England.”
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) director Andrew Strauss has been watching the action unfold in the UAE in order to pinpoint certain players that could potentially break back into the England squad. He is also identifying young talents that have a bright future ahead of them.
When asked about Wood’s chances of playing for England again, Strauss said: “I think he has got a chance, absolutely. No one wants to push him too hard [but] we hope he’ll be fit enough to be put forward for selection.
“I’m really pleased to see him on the park again. He’s had a pretty arduous journey … and it was incredibly disappointing for him to have to go under the knife again. To see him with a smile on his face, racing in … that’s really encouraging.”