IPL 2021: England pacer Mark Wood withdraws from the auction

Mark Wood

Just a day before the auction for this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), England fast-bowler Mark Wood has withdrawn his name from the event. The auction for IPL 2021 is scheduled to take place on Thursday (February 18) in Chennai. A total of 292 players were shortlisted from the original list of 1,144 players after all the eight franchises had submitted their shortlist of players.

According to the report, the franchises were told at a briefing in Chennai on Wednesday that Wood had decided to pull out of the auction. The England star has decided against playing in the IPL this year in order to spend time with his family at home. Wood recently arrived in India for the upcoming last two Tests against the hosts as well as the limited-overs series.

The right-arm pacer was rested for the first two games of the four-match series. The Test series will be followed by five T20Is and three ODIs. Wood is a part of the T20I squad and is likely to be named in the ODI squad too. England’s tour of India will end on March 28 and Wood has decided to spend time with his family after the series instead of playing in IPL.

A financial blow for Mark Wood:

The decision to pull out of the IPL and missing the chance to get a lucrative IPL contract will be a big blow for Mark Wood from the financial perspective. He had put himself forward at the highest base price (Rs 2 crore) ahead of the auction. According to ESPNcricinfo, he had also attracted some interest from franchises.

Previously, he was lined up by Mumbai Indians as a potential replacement for Lasith Malinga before IPL 2020. However, he had refused the offer before Mumbai Indians signed up James Pattinson. Prior to that, Wood’s only appearance in IPL till date came in 2018 when he played just a solitary game for Chennai Super Kings.

What makes things worse for Wood is that he only has a white-ball central contract from the ECB. The fast-bowler has been named in squads for England’s last five Test series but does not have a red-ball contract. Consequently, he earns significantly less than Test specialists despite being a constant feature in England’s squads across formats.

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