DateLine: 3rd November 2006
The West Yorkshire born batsmen is a man of cricketing extremes. On four occasions he has passed a thousand runs in the season only to drop in other summers to averages in the teens.
After a three year run in the Yorkshire reserves he stepped up in 1998 and rapidly caused heads to turn, hitting a century in his second championship match against Derbyshire before completing three more first class tons and a thousand plus runs that year.
Next season though he averaged under 14 runs as a first team regular and did little better in 2000. Yorkshire kept faith in him though and now, as an opening bat, he was to prove a key part of Yorkshire’s championship wining team in 2001 - helping himself to four centuries.
After an effective academy tour to Australia in the winter Wood looked set to challenge for international honours when another slump in 2002 saw him loose his first class place for the Tykes. Despite this he went to Australia again with the academy but failed to impress and, despite a superb 2003, which saw him hit over 1400 runs, collect five centuries and claim the club and players player awards at Headingley he was not invited back to any level of the England set up.
Wood deputised frequently as captain in 2003 and 2004 and was regarded by many as a future county skipper. However after average seasons in 2004 and 2005 the bottom fell out of his form again in 2006 and this time he was dropped to the reserves for the remainder of the season.
On form Wood is especially merciless against wide bowling and often converts centuries into impressively large scores.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2006 John Dobson)
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