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Mark Wood – Cricket Career

Mark Wood is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket today. Blessed with raw pace that can consistently touch the 95 mph mark, Wood has troubled many top batsmen across countries. However, injuries have been his biggest enemy which have interrupted his progress time as well as again. In this article, you’ll look at Wood’s journey from his early days in county cricket with Durham to the present as an England international. In this article, you will take a look at Mark Wood’s international sports news cricket career so far from his early days to the present.

Early Career and County Cricket

Mark Wood was born in County Durham in England in 1990. He began playing cricket at a young age as well as came through the youth ranks at Durham County Cricket Club, representing them at the Under-15 along with Under-17 levels. This provided him early experience as well as grooming in his formative years.

He made his first-class debut for Durham in 2008 at the age of 18. However, injuries soon became a problem for him in his early career. The fast bowling action puts a lot of stress on the body as well as he struggled with frequent injuries which hampered his progress along with ability to establish himself for Durham. He showed flashes of his raw pace which could trouble batsmen, but lacked consistency in his performances as well as fitness levels due to recurring injuries.

In the following years, Wood continued representing Durham in county cricket as well as also played for England Lions, which is the national team for emerging cricketers in England. Getting selected for the Lions team at a young age was recognition of his talent as well as potential. However, injuries continued to plague him. In the 2011 season, he was able to grab attention by taking a five-wicket haul against Sussex, but it was just one of the few glimpses of his ability. He struggled with a back problem in 2012 which sidelined him for a long period.

Breakthrough for England

In 2013, Wood’s career got the big breakthrough when he was selected in the England Performance Programme by the ECB. He worked extensively on his fitness under the guidance of the programme. This helped him address his injury issues to some extent. Later that year, he received his maiden call up to the England ODI squad for a tri-nation series in Australia.

Wood made his ODI debut for England against Australia at Perth in January 2014. He announced his arrival on the international stage in style by dismissing Shane Watson with the very first ball he bowled in ODI cricket. However, he struggled for consistency in the next few matches and was in as well as out of the side over the next year due to injuries as well as lack of form.

In 2015, Wood was selected in the England squad for the 2015 Cricket World Cup hosted in Australia as well as New Zealand. He played three matches in the tournament but could only manage two wickets. Later that year, he made his T20I debut for England against Pakistan along with picked up two wickets in the match.

Establishing Himself for England

The year 2016 turned out to be Wood’s breakthrough season. He enjoyed a highly successful English summer, taking 24 wickets in just 5 Tests at an average of 26. He consistently bowled over 90 mph as well as troubled the opposition batsmen with his raw pace and bounce. His performances helped England register their first Test series victory in South Africa since 1999-2000.

Wood was then selected in the England T20 as well as ODI squads for the tours of India along with Bangladesh in late 2016. He picked up crucial wickets in the middle overs with his pace as well as variations. This established him as a regular member of the England white-ball squads.  In 2017, Wood enjoyed a productive English summer across all three formats. He picked up 11 wickets in the Champions Trophy tournament held in England, helping his team reach the final. Later that year, he took a five-wicket haul against West Indies in a Test match.

However, injuries resurfaced in late 2017 which ruled him out of cricket for several months. He made his comeback in early 2019 as well as was selected for the 2019 Cricket World Cup hosted by England. Though he picked only 9 wickets in the tournament, his pace troubled the opposition.

Recent Performances and Injuries

Wood enjoyed a productive home summer in 2020, taking 17 wickets in 3 Tests against Pakistan as well as West Indies. However, he broke down with an injury during the tour of South Africa later that year. This kept him out of cricket for over a year.

Wood made his comeback to international cricket during England’s home summer in 2021. He picked up seven wickets in the two-match Test series against New Zealand. However, he broke down again with an injury during the first Test against India as well as was ruled out of further cricket.

In early 2022, Wood was named in the England squads for the T20I as well as ODI series against West Indies. He picked up four wickets in the T20Is but broke down with another injury during the first ODI. This has become a familiar pattern in Wood’s career – brief spells of top-class performances interrupted by recurring injuries. He continues to work on his fitness as well as hopes to make a strong comeback when fully fit. Only time will tell if his body can hold up to his express pace consistently when representing England in the future.

Conclusion

Mark Wood has all the skills to be one of England’s leading fast bowlers across formats. However, recurring injuries have been a roadblock. When fit, he strikes fear with his ability to consistently bowl over 90 mph. Wood will be hoping to get a long injury-free run to realize his full potential. England will be hoping the same, as Wood’s pace adds an X-factor to the team’s bowling attack. His story so far has been one of potential interrupted by injuries. The coming years will determine if he can stay fit enough to have an extended run as an England regular.

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