England fast bowler Mark Wood contemplated saying ‘I’ve had enough’ due to persistent injuries

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Mark Wood has admitted that he nearly quit cricket after a succession of injuries left him in a bad place mentally and fearing he would never realise his true potential.

The England fast bowler needed three operations on his ankle over the space of 12 months and there were times when he’d just had enough.

Mark Wood told talkSPORT 2 of his struggles with injury

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Mark Wood told talkSPORT 2 of his struggles with injury

It was particularly around the time of the third operation in late 2016 when Wood considered calling it a day, as he exclusively revealed to talkSPORT 2’s Cricket Collective show.

When asked what was the most challenging moment of his career by former fast England bowler and host Steve Harmison, Wood said: “I’ve had a few. Probably the third operation. I’d just come back from my second ankle operation. Things weren’t right. I knew they weren’t right.

“I had to go back for a third operation. I ended up having some pretty bad mental health stuff with anxiety. I had a panic attack on a flight.

“Around that sort of time was the hardest because I didn’t know if I wanted to do it anymore. I was sick of the rehab.

“I thought I would never reach the potential I could or thought I had.

Mark Wood made his Test debut back in 2015

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Mark Wood made his Test debut back in 2015

“I was just generally sick of not being the player I wanted to be.

“I did contemplate thinking ‘look, I’ve had enough of this, should I do something else?’ But I’m glad I stuck with it.”

Wood made his Test debut back in 2015 but has only played 16 times for England, with half of those appearances coming in the year of his debut.

Injury problems have plagued him for much of his career but he credits the England backroom staff who stuck with him over that period see him through to now.

Wood has largely been injury-free this year and, at 30, still hopes to make a major impact on the international stage having overcome the dark periods in his life and career.

“As soon as I’d had a taste of international cricket that’s what I wanted,” he continued.

“As a lad that grew up with my mum and dad, who are working class people, I didn’t have much when I grew up. To feel so lucky and proud I managed to play for England and I wanted to keep that going and push myself as hard as I could.

“I was actually close a couple of times to saying ‘look I’ve had enough’. Just because I couldn’t cope with it with my body.

“Kevin Shine was a guy who always stuck by me, the England fast bowling coach. Otis Gibson stuck by me. The physio endlessly worked with me.

Mark Wood helped England win the Cricket World Cup last year

Getty Images – Getty

Mark Wood helped England win the Cricket World Cup last year

“The run up was probably my biggest change to longevity. Being able to bowl longer spells, stick it out and get bigger and stronger that way.

“Initially with the short run up I was in/out, in/out, injured/back and injured/back.

“It’s not so much the when you get back because that’s actually the good bit when you’re back. It’s actually when you have to get back in the gym.

“It’s not just in the gym when you have to lift weights but it’s little exercises. It’s running on the streets when it’s dark. Thinking ‘right I’ve got to go for another injection’. People might think it’s nothing but after four, five, six or seven times of doing it you are like ‘I’ve had enough of this’.”


Wood did admit, though, that he has considered going down the white ball only route and that remains an option for the future.

He added: “At one point I contemplated going down the white ball route. It’s less stress on my body, ten overs or four overs.

“I can still make good money for my family. That could be a possibility even in the future I might have to go down that route.

“There was probably one time around that third operation where I was definitely like ‘look, I’m not sure that I can keep doing this’.”


Listen to the full interview with Steve Harmison on the Cricket Collective on talkSPORT 2 tonight from 6-7pm or catch up with the Following On podcast





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