My Favourite Player Series, Mark Wood, by Jack Wheelhouse

*My favourite player series is where we ask you to tell us who your favourite player is, why they're your favourite player and your best memory. This is a brand new series that is open to anyone and everyone, so if you're interested, get in touch on Twitter. Without further ado here is Jack with his favourite player. Make sure you follow him on Twitter @JTW_1908

My favourite England player has to be the one and only Mark Wood. His pace, personality and professionalism is just second to none.

Before I delve into what he does on the pitch whenever I see or notice Mark Wood I can’t get out of my head the witty response to the press when asked in South Africa “What do you think of the barmy army’s song for you Mark?” a reply of “I sing along me” will never be forgotten. He brings this buzz onto the pitch as well whether batting or bowling or even fielding, that cheeky grin isn’t far away.

I think the main reason for me though that makes Mark Wood my favourite England player has to be the way in which he has shown such determination in coming back after injury upon injury. I remember his interview with Sky after he had taken a five-for back in February 2019 in the West Indies test and he admitted to suffering with self-doubt but that he felt like an England player again, this was so refreshing to hear and great to see his swag was back.

Whenever this has happened it just seems to make Woody even better, faster and brings yet more and more wickets. This is something that has really stood out from my time following England Cricket which I have to confess has only been the last 9 years or so, and it made Mark Wood stand out even more for me.

I also love the relationship and the way he connects with the ‘Barmy Army’ and all the supporters. The song as aforementioned that the ‘Barmy Army’ have for him really caught on and took off on the tour of South Africa which was brilliant to see and even the locals joined in! I think he just really is a loveable guy and you can’t help but smile when he speaks in those Jordie tones. I am sure he has the same effect on the rest of the England squad and those in and around him, not forgetting the supporters of English cricket.

My favourite Woody moment would have to be when he had that stint with the bat out in South Africa during both the Johannesburg where he was hitting it to all parts of the ground, he didn’t only just shine with the back getting a 35* but also his bowling figures of 5/46 and 4/54. He also had a whale of a time in the Port Elizabeth test before on his way to 42 runs. Everything he swung at seemed to go. It has been great to see the confidence back after the previous setbacks he’s suffered but he also showed how talented he can be with the bat and I think this shouldn’t be overlooked.

He’s clearly got the ‘all-rounder’ tag on him after those performances. This is why Mark Wood is my favourite England player. His tenacity really hits home with me and I find it rather inspirational. However, I think we can learn something more from him. To always do whatever you do with a smile on your face and keep going whatever setbacks you may endure.

Go well, Jack


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