ASHINGTON youngster Mark Wood has signed a two-year professional cricket contract with Durham.
Wood, 21, who made his first class debut this summer having been in the Academy since 2007, impressed at Trent Bridge, where he made his championship bow, taking three top order wickets and battled the Nottingham seamers to score an unbeaten 45.
A delighted Wood said: “I’ve been a part of the Durham set up for a few years now and it feels great to be making that next step up to the professional squad.
“At the end of the season I had a chat with head coach Geoff Cook, reviewing the campaign and looking at things which I could improve on.
“The next step up would have been a young development contract and above that a professional contract, so to get that I’m really thrilled.
“I’ve worked hard since I was a junior at Ashington Cricket Club and then four years at the Academy at Durham, and I was really pleased to get my chance to play in the Championship this year.
“I really enjoyed the experience and was glad to have been able to contribute but this opens up a new chapter for myself.”
Durham CCC coach Cook said: “Mark adds a real sense of enthusiasm to the dressing room and we’re delighted to add him to the professional staff.
“He’s come on a lot in the last 12 months and showed in his championship debut that he can deliver good performances in high pressure situations, which is a great skill to already have under his belt as he continues to mature as a player.”
In the meantime, right arm pace bowler and right handed batsman Wood is bound for Brisbane.
“I’m going to spend the winter in Australia to try and further develop my game before next season playing for Palm Beach, just as I did last year,” he said.
“Durham go on a pre-season tour to Dubai at the end of March and I’ll hoping to go there – but the new campaign can’t come soon enough.”