England pacer Mark Wood has opened about his decision to opt-out of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 after the player pulled out his name on the morning of the IPL 2021 auction day. Wood said that he made the decision prioritizing his family and be available for his national side.
“It wasn’t until the last minute. I didn’t want to go into the auction and then let a team down at a later date, I didn’t think that was fair. I was to-ing and fro-ing back and forth because I thought it would have improved me as a cricketer and there was a huge opportunity to improve my wage by going there. It would have been a huge opportunity for me and although it was life-changing money, I’m comfortable with my decision and I hope it serves me well,” Mark Wood said in a virtual press conference.
Wood had entered his name in the auction at the base price of INR 2 crores. However, he crossed out his name from the list of 292 players set up for the auction. He explained that the COVID-19 situation has been tough on the players as they are unable to see their families for long intervals. So, playing in IPL would make the gap wider.
Mark Wood himself arrived in India on February 16 to join the England squad for the last two Tests that are playing against India in a four-match Test series, following which they will lock horns in a five-match T20I series and three ODIs.
“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.
“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.