‘Tough decision’: Mark Wood says he turned down England contract for franchise cricket and may miss India Tests

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Mark Wood he, Register for the ILT20 League“There’s a lot more to it than just the love of playing for England,” he said of the deal, which coincides with the first three Test matches of England’s tour of India in early 2024.

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In an interview TelegraphThe 33-year-old fast bowler spoke about whether he would prioritise franchise T20 cricket over playing for England. Wood is contracted to Dubai Capitals and the second edition of the ILT20 is scheduled to take place from January 18 to February 18, 2024. The first of England’s five Tests in India begins on January 25, with the second and third scheduled before the end of the ILT20.

Wood’s appearance in the Ashes series at Headingley this summer was a turning point for England and the fast ball he brings to the team will be crucial as they aim for a historic series win in India. However, turning down a major contract with the ECB could allow Wood to prioritise his franchise options over Test cricket.

“What I’d say is I’ve always loved playing for England,” Wood said. Telegraph. “It’s always been my priority over the years and I know they’ve looked after me through injuries and stuff but there’s a lot more to it than just my love of playing for England – time away from home, now the financial side of things. Injuries, how much time do I have left? That’s something I’ll decide after I’ve spoken to Rob Key and we’ll go from there.”

Wood has had a lengthy injury history throughout his career. He is unlikely to play in all five Test matches in India. In any case, his contract with Dubai Capitals is reportedly worth around £500,000, and turning down the offer of a central contract could mean a more financially rewarding end to his career for the 33-year-old.

“Athletes from other countries have done the same. [turned down central contracts]”At the moment it’s not in my sights. The World Cup is the big focus right now. The other thing is, my agent, Rob Key, knows where I stand. I love playing for England and I want to play for England for as long as I can, but it just depends on what they say, what they want me to do and how they see the structure going forward,” Wood said.

“I have turned down a lot of things to play for England and I believe that is how it should be, but as I said, I am a three-format player for England so I have spent a lot of time touring away from home. I have a young family now and it is a difficult decision but one I will have to make in the next month or so.”

Wood will be part of England’s 2023 World Cup squad, which will be defending its title in India next month. He was also part of last year’s T20 World Cup-winning team. Following the series in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Australia will play series in England next summer.

If Wood turns down a contract with a central team in search of greater freedom in the franchise league in which he plays, he would be the most high-profile England cricketer to do so.

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