Ashington’s Ashes winner gets central contract for England

Durham bowler Mark Wood.
Durham bowler Mark Wood.

Ashington-born pace bowler Mark Wood has been rewarded with a central contract for England after making a sensational impact since his bow in international cricket in May.

The 25-year-old Durham player was due to fly out with his team mates to Dubai on Tuesday as England prepare to face Pakistan in all three formats of the game before heading to South Africa.

“It will be a potentially busy winter but I’m looking forward to it,” said Wood.

“After the injury problems I experienced last year, this has been a rollercoaster year for me and I’ve had a summer which I will never forget.”

The right arm quickie still lives in Wansbeck and supports both Ashington Cricket Club and Ashington Football Club whenever possible and was in the crowd at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday to watch the Colliers defeat West Auckland.

He made his full England debut in the one day match against Ireland then played in both Test matches followed by the one day series against New Zealand.

The Ashes Tests and one day campaign against Australia came next with Wood claiming the final wicket which ensured the urn returned to England.

He added: “I was delighted to be selected to face New Zealand, but it is every English cricketer’s dream to play against Australia, and to beat them was surreal and I wouldn’t change anything.”

Wood, after being on an incremental contract with England, is one of 11 players to secure a central one year deal.

“The news filled me with confidence to know that they have backed me and shown their faith in me to do the business and I’m naturally delighted,” he added.

Wood said he has been taken aback by the ‘overwhelming’ encouragement he has received from the people in Wansbeck.

“The support I have received, especially locally, has been amazing and I hope it continues,” he said.

“Walking around the town in Ashington, the messages, texts and social media interest has been overwhelming.

“I’m really pleased that the community have got behind me and I cannot thank them enough.”