Mark Wood is to return home early from his stint with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL to pursue a place in England’s Test team.
Wood has struggled to secure a place in the CSK team and has decided to come home to play for Durham in an effort to force his way into the first Test squad of the summer.
He wrote in a post on Instagram: “The decision has been made for me to return home to England to prepare for the English summer. Having worked so hard to get back in the test team, and because I’m not currently in the CSK side, I am coming home to play for a Durham to hopefully put my name in the hat for test match selection.
“To the CSK management, players and supporters, thanks so much for the support, and for welcoming me into this family club. It was a very proud moment for me to be presented my cap by MS Dhoni. Although things didn’t quite go to plan this year, I hope to be able to wear it again. I’ll be watching from home and cheering you on.”
Wood, 28, played just one match for the Super Kings in the 2018 campaign, going for 0-49 from his four overs. Following a long period of recovery from injury, during which he returned to one-day and T20 cricket, he finally made his comeback to England’s Test team in the final match of the winter against New Zealand in Christchurch, taking 2-45 in the second innings in what was his 11th Test appearance.
Durham have just one County Championship match – starting this Friday at Derby – in which Wood can play before the new selection panel, now headed by Ed Smith, meets on May 15 and there are no further Championship fixtures between that and the first Test at Lord’s.