England news February 18, 2017

Wood pulls out of England Lions tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mark Wood bowls at the ECB's Pace Programme training camp in Potchefstroom © Gallo Images/Getty Images

England have withdrawn fast bowler Mark Wood from the Lions' one-day series against Sri Lanka A next month, a move that will raise concerns about his ability to return from a third round of ankle surgery.

The ECB has suggested that his recovery remains on track following an operation on a severed bone in his left ankle last year. He bowled flat out for the first time with the England Pace Programme in Potchefstroom in January and it is hoped he will make his comeback in the North-South series in the second half of March.

He was only added to the Lions squad a few weeks ago but ECB medical staff have now decided that he would be better served by continuing his rehabilitation over the next few weeks at home. The North-South series takes place in the UAE from March 17.

Discussing his rehabilitation, Wood recently admitted he had doubts he would "ever be the same bowler" but said he was working on making minor adjustments to his action while building up to match fitness.

"Last year I got in the habits of putting my game-time first and neglected the training side a little bit," he said. "I now need to get my action solid as a rock, like it was when I made my debut for England."

Wood played four ODIs towards the end of last season, having broken down on the tour of the UAE in 2015, but he then suffered a different injury while bowling for Durham in a Championship match.

With question marks over the effectiveness of England's white-ball pace attack, Wood's ability to bowl at 90mph would likely see him come into contention for the Champions Trophy - if he can prove his fitness. His last Test appearance came in 2015 but England may still harbour hopes of taking him on the Ashes tour of Australia next winter.

No replacement has been named for the Lions, with the squad already featuring seamers Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Craig Overton, James Fuller and Tom Helm. The first unofficial ODI takes place in Dambulla on March 2.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • andrew2711976 on February 19, 2017, 19:16 GMT

    @AUDIOTHIEF - Bell was selected for the tour of the UAE in September 2015.

  • Jackie on February 19, 2017, 17:06 GMT

    Broad seemed in that position with his foot. He was always breaking down. But he finally sorted it out. We had the same sort of responses to Broad's injury. So let's hope Wood has proper recuperation and isn't put into battle too soon.

  • geoffs8103821 on February 19, 2017, 12:47 GMT

    Disappointed to read some of the comments on Mark Wood especially Evans Cheta yes he's had a bad run with his injuries but please be humble he must be going through hell. You couldn't wish to meet a cricketer as nice as him who's so dedicated to his sport to the extent of abstaining from alcohol. As for his test record 32wickets in eight tests over 5 hard ashes matches and then 3 matches in the uae where nobody wins but Pakistan is a good ratio

  • Tom on February 19, 2017, 12:40 GMT

    CRICFAN91671555 ON FEBRUARY 19, 2017, 10:23 GMT Whilst I feel really sorry for Mark Wood why do England persist in picking so many injury prone players in their international squads? ------------------------

    The same reason Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, West Indies, New Zealand and Bangladesh do. Fast bowling is unnatural and puts tremendous strain on the body.

  • Mustansir on February 19, 2017, 10:58 GMT

    mediocre bowler with persistent injury. cn't play 2 matches on trot. should play t20 only. not a test class bowler

  • David on February 19, 2017, 10:30 GMT

    Not sure why Wood and Finn given central contracts. A lot of money blown away on nothing. Same as Bell in Sep 2015. Not even picked to tour.

  • mrrwwe9465653 on February 19, 2017, 10:23 GMT

    Whilst I feel really sorry for Mark Wood why do England persist in picking so many injury prone players in their international squads?

  • Steve on February 18, 2017, 22:17 GMT

    The only Wood i know actually made of glass.

  • alansa4022707 on February 18, 2017, 22:11 GMT

    Swing and seam movement is great and even more dangerous when bowled by someone with woods pace

  • Sudip on February 18, 2017, 21:38 GMT

    This is bad news for Wood as a bowler at all levels ..he is by far one of our quickest and to ' break down ' again time after time doesn't bode well. I wish mark luck but I feel his future remains in doubt. I fear that his Test career may well be over before it has even started . the England selectors better start thinking fast as Broad and Anderson undoubtedly will not be the force they used to be cometh the Ashes,, it's time to blood Ball/ Curran etc this summer esp v the West Indies

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