England speedster Mark Wood revealed that he was ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ whether to keep his name in the IPL auction but stated that he eventually pulled out to not let a franchise down after being snapped up. Wood further insisted that no IPL might help him be fit and firing for the Ashes and WT20.
Mark Wood might well have been an overnight millionaire had he chosen to keep his name in the player-list of the 2021 IPL Auction, but now, instead, the speedster will only have to settle for some rest. A gun white-ball bowler who was in the radar of many a franchise prior to the auction, Wood pulled out hours before his name was set to go under the hammer, instead choosing to go back home post the India tour and spend time with his family.
Opting out of the IPL might have cost Wood the opportunity to earn ‘life-changing’ money, but the tearaway, as per his own admission, has no regrets. Speaking of his decision to withdraw from the IPL auction, the 31-year-old revealed that he simply wanted to prioritise family, for playing in the IPL would have meant him being away from home for close to five months.
"Couple of things really. First and foremost it was my family. I'm going to spend six weeks here in India and it would have been another eight weeks on top of that so that's 14 weeks. We're in a strange situation with covid and we can't see our families while we're with England like we usually do and I wanted to be able to switch off, go home and recharge for the second reason which of course is being ready for England,” Wood was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“It would have been a huge opportunity for me and although it was life-changing money, I'm comfortable with my decision and I hope it serves me well.”
The tearaway quick also revealed that he chose to pull out of the auction beforehand in order to not let a franchise down after they’d laid their faith in him.
"It wasn't until the last minute. I didn't want to go into the auction and then let a team down at a later date, I didn't think that was fair.”
Not playing in the IPL will mean Wood will get two full months off, and that could be a huge bonus for both him and England, who have a packed schedule in the second half of the year, with them set to play the World T20, home Tests versus India and finally, the Ashes. Wood asserted that he wants to be fit and ready to be able to perform at optimum level when the second half of the season beckons.
“I'm trying to prioritise that and be ready for later on in the year when we've got loads of cricket going on. I don't want my body to fail me or be a bit bruised mentally or physically for the back end of the year when it's the World Cup and ashes and the summer when it's a big series against India at home. So I wanted to be ready and available and have some family time as well because there is a lot of time away from home this year."
After being rested for the first two Tests, Wood is currently in line to play the third Test versus India, starting February 24.