IPL Auction 2021: Wood reveals reason for last-minute withdrawal, says ‘Wanted to go home and recharge for England’

IPL Auction 2021: England pacer Mark Wood on Friday said he pulled out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to prioritise his family and to be available for his side for the next assignment.

Wood withdrew his name from the auction just before the event on Thursday. The pacer was among the eight overseas players who were placed at the Rs 2 cr base price, the highest reserve price. The 31-year-old explained that Covid-19 has made life difficult and he wanted to go home after the series against India to spend some time with his family before taking the national duty again.

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“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 said in a virtual press conference on Friday.

“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,” he added.
Wood further talked about the positives of playing in the IPL keeping in mind the T20 World Cup later this year.

“Obviously there have been big names who went for big money and it’s great for them. It’s life-changing money which is why it was such a difficult decision for me. The plus side is you’re not just going for money reasons. You will improve hopefully going into the World T20 and improve your skills and I’ve got a bit of unfinished business with the IPL because I only played one game for Chennai last time and I’d like another crack at some point,” he said.

“But I just didn’t think the time was right and ultimately that was my decision. Everybody makes their own decision, each player, but for me, it was about prioritising my family and England at the minute,” he added.

Wood and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow on Wednesday joined England’s squad in Chennai ahead of the third Test against India. The third Test will begin on February 24 and it will be a day-night affair in Ahmedabad.