In what comes as a blow for the IPL franchises, English pacer Mark Wood has withdrawn his name from the IPL auctions at the last minute. The IPL management announced the pull-out in a meeting with franchise representatives in the evening on Wednesday just ahead of the mini-auction.
England and Durham fast bowler Mark Wood was supposed to be one of the most sought-after players in the IPL auction that will be taking place on February 18 in Chennai. But, he has pulled out of the auction at the last minute. He's the only player to withdraw like that from the mini-auction. Wood's base price was set at 2 crores.
A hit-the-deck bowler with raw pace, Wood was expected to draw bids with the quality he brings to the plate. The 31-year-old has taken 38 wickets in 32 T20s with an economy rate of 8.28. He had featured for Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 IPL season. After missing the first two Tests in India due to rest and rotation policy of England, the pacer has joined the Three Lions for the last two Tests and has also been named in the white-ball series that follows. As per Sportstar, Wood wanted to spend time with his family and that's why he decided to opt out of Thursday's auction.
Earlier, the likes of Tom Banton, James Vince, and Joe Root had also decided against entering the IPL auction. Vince and Banton wanted to focus on the County Championship while Root despite having the ambition to play the cash-rich league wanted to focus on Tests given England will be playing a lot of red-ball games this year. That leaves only 16 players from England who will be part of the IPL mini-auctions.