RAWALPINDI: England Test coach Brendon McCullum has confirmed that pacer Mark Wood will miss the first match of the series against Pakistan, which begins on December 1 in Rawalpindi.
McCullum revealed the development in a press conference in Rawalpindi on Monday.
“Mark Wood won’t be able to make the first Test squad due to his injury. We expect him to be ready for the second Test. Otherwise, we have got a full squad to pick from,” said the England coach.
Earlier, according to ESPNcricinfo, the England camp don’t feel that Wood is ready for the longest format of the game yet as he recovers from a hip injury.
“His [Wood] rehabilitation is said to be tracking well. However, with just three training days ahead of the start of the series on December 1, it seems unlikely he will be able to accrue the necessary number of overs at a high enough intensity to prepare himself for the rigours of a Test match,” the report stated.
It must be noted that Wood had returned to international cricket during the T20Is in Pakistan, before the T20 World Cup, after a long injury layoff which saw him miss the summer of 2022.
“Wood's absence from the Abu Dhabi leg of this winter, where the squad has been warming up alongside England Lions ahead of their first Test series in Pakistan for 17 years, is unrelated to his injury,” the report added.
Wood has featured in 26 Tests over the course of his career, claiming 82 wickets at an average of 31.91. He has also bagged three five-wicket hauls with best figures of 6-37 against Australia in Hobart earlier this year.
England team, led by Ben Stokes, arrived in Islamabad on Sunday morning ahead of the historic series against Pakistan.
After the first match in Rawalpindi, which begins on December 1, the second Test moves to Multan starting on Friday, December 9, and the final Test of the tour will take place at the National Stadium in Karachi, commencing on Saturday, December 17.