May 9, 2018 / 8:04 AM / 12 days ago

Cricket: England's Wood ends IPL stint to boost test prospects

(Reuters) - England fast bowler Mark Wood has returned home from the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) to play for Durham in a bid to keep his place in the test side, the 28-year-old has said.

Cricket - New Zealand vs England - Second Test - Hagley Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand - March 30, 2018 - England's Mark Wood in action. REUTERS/Paul Childs/Files

Wood played for the Chennai Super Kings in their opening win against champions Mumbai Indians but was not picked in their next nine matches.

“The decision has been made for me to return home to England to prepare for the English summer,” Wood wrote in an Instagram post.

“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 Durham to hopefully put my name in the hat for test match selection.”

Wood has played 11 tests for England, the last against New Zealand at Christchurch from March 30-April 3, and has taken 28 wickets.

He will be available for Durham’s County Championship match against Derbyshire this week and will hope to make the England squad for the two-test series against Pakistan starting later this month.

“It’s a massive boost to have Mark available for Friday. On the occasions we’ve had him available to play for us over the last few years, he’s made some great contributions,” Durham head coach Jon Lewis said in a statement.

“He comes back to us with a big point to prove and is eager to nail down his spot in the England test side.

“The IPL didn’t give him the playing opportunities he would have liked but he has still learnt from great players and this is a move which suits all parties.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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