IPL 2021 auction: England pacer Mark Wood pulls out after entering at Rs 2 crore base price

England paceman Mark Wood decided to pull out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction, set to take place in Chennai on Thursday (February 18) from 3pm onwards. The last minute withdrawal of the 31-year-old Durham cricketer was announced by the IPL management on Wednesday (February 17) during a meeting with the IPL franchise representatives in Chennai, according to Cricbuzz website. 

Wood, who has appeared in 18 Tests, 53 ODIs and 11 T20Is, had registered for the maximum Rs 2 crore base price. He has so far played only one IPL game, for Chennai Super Kings, in 2018. He was the 24th player in the auction list and would have come in the 4th set of players, all top fast bowlers. 

Wood along with Jonnny Bairstow arrived in India as they were included in the England Test for the third and fourth Tests against India. The pink-ball Test between India and England will get underway at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on February 24. 

Wood’s withdrawal leaves 16 English players, including world No. 1 T20 player Dawid Malan, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy, in the auction. According to franchise representatives, that is the only last-minute withdrawal.  

That leaves the auction register with 291 players, including 164 Indians and 124 overseas players. There are three players from the Associate countries. 

Difficult to tell players you can’t play IPL: England coach Chris Silverwood 

England coach Chris Silverwood on Wednesday admitted that it is ‘very difficult’ to tell players ‘not to play IPL’ even as his team’s much-debated rotation policy in Test matches came under scanner after their humbling 317-run defeat against India in the second Test. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had decided that all the multi-format players, especially the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali will be rotated during the twin tour of Sri Lanka and India. 

“It is very difficult to say to the players that no you can’t play IPL. You can’t say no if you just see the numbers. IPL is a marquee cricket event in T20 world and so it’s very difficult,” Silverwood said during a media conference. 

When he was specifically asked if playing IPL became a priority as a lot of these players opted out of Big Bash League in Australia but now are skipping Test matches as a part of rotation policy. 

“I don’t think it’s an issue because players are playing fantastic high level of T20 cricket which can only benefit us really. Moving forward it benefits the player. Obviously players make their own minds up about competitions (BBL, CPL, IPL) they go in but we benefit from their playing.” 

You can watch IPL 2021 auction Live Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar from 3pm onwards.

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Sagar Biswas

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