Durham’s Ashington born cricketer Mark Wood has been called up for England’s tour to the West Indies next month.
The 16-man squad was announced shortly before lunchtime last Wednesday with 25-year old Wood named in the senior party for the first time in his career.
Wood, a graduate from Durham’s academy, made his first class debut in 2011 but was restricted to just ten appearances last season due to injuries.
He has taken 74 wickets in his first-class career at an average of just over 26.
Wood said: “I am delighted, especially when I haven’t played that many games it is good that people have seen something in me.
“The Lions tour was fantastic and couldn’t have gone any better for me.
“I managed to put a run of games together and put in the performances, and that has obviously stood me in good stead.”
Durham head coach Jon Lewis added: “Everyone at the club is thrilled for Mark.
“He’s a great lad who has worked incredibly hard at his game, despite one or two setbacks with injuries, he caught the eye again out in South Africa and Kevin Shine (ECB fast bowling coach) has kept tabs on him throughout the last few years.
“It’s more good news for our academy because Mark is a local product who was given plenty of first team opportunities at a young age.”
Stephen Williams, who coached Wood for seven years as he came through the ranks at Langwell Crescent, said: “Everybody is delighted for Mark, who has shown lots of character after coming back from injuries.
“He bowled really well in South Africa before and after Christmas when he went to the training camp then played in the England Lions tour games, and by all accounts was the best quickie in the team.”
Williams added: “He is the best youngster I have coached simply because of his attitude.
“From being nine-years-old Mark always wanted to learn and from a coaching point of view that epitomises what you want.
“He came through all the age groups at county schools level and captained most of those teams, always leading by example.
“Mark was fortunate enough to work with Stuart Broad and James Anderson and learned a lot from them.
“He comes from a cricketing background, his father Derek played for Ashington and his uncle Neil opens the batting, and he is also a very good coach.
“The news of Mark’s call-up does not come as a surprise to me and I reckon he will go a long way in the game.”
England will play three tests in the Caribbean, the first starts in Antigua on Monday, April 13, and is followed by a game in Grenada from April 21 to 25 and then Barbados from the beginning of May.