England cricket star Wood turns out for Ashington

Ashington Cricket Club skipper Sean McCafferty said that Mark Wood’s appearance for the Mighty Acorns at Lanchester on Saturday was a great advert for grass roots cricket, writes Brian Bennett.

By Keith Hamblin
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 12:07 pm
Mark Wood.
Mark Wood.

The Wansbeck outfit included Wood - who is working his way back to fitness after an elbow injury - in their line up and he took 5-24 during the home innings before Ashington completed victory by an 112 runs margin which kept them at the head of the North East Premier League division one table.

However, McCafferty said afterwards that he was looking at the ‘bigger picture’ with the inclusion of the England and Durham pace ace: “We managed things,” he commented, “Lanchester had a 14 year old opening the batting (Ethan Connolly) who is going to be a very good player and we didn’t want to bowl Mark (Wood) at the start but keep him for the middle overs.

"However, I wasn’t just looking at Mark playing for Ashington – I also had an eye towards the bigger picture. Mark continues to have England aspirations and to be a massive part of their plans so it was about getting miles into his legs and allowing him to test out his injury and see if he could come through it.”

McCafferty added: “Having an international player playing at a club ground was a great advert for grass roots cricket. There were some young kids at Lanchester today and hopefully it might inspire one of more of them to go on and try to follow in Mark’s footsteps – so it can only be a good thing for cricket.”

He concluded: “Mark (Wood) was not bowling flat out today but was still more than quick enough. The ECB (English Cricket Board) wanted him to play; we were happy about that and Mark is always desperate to turn out for us. All the players at Langwell Crescent are really good mates with Mark and when he is not playing for England or Durham, he comes along to watch us. He was just as excited about our win as we were – which just goes to show how much he thinks about Ashington Cricket Club.”