In a major setback for the Lucknow franchise, England pacer Mark Wood has pulled out of the Indian T20 League 2022 due to an elbow injury. Wood was roped in by the franchise for INR 7.5 crores in the mega auction. The team has not confirmed any replacement as of yet. Wood picked up the injury during the first Test of the three-match Test series against West Indies.
Lucknow was banking on Wood as their lead pacer in the T20 extravaganza. However, the news is a massive blow for them. The team will be participating in the tournament for the first time. Lucknow picked a lot of all-rounders but didn't invest much in the pacers. Wood was one of the few they went after. However, his injury has left him in a soup. They now only have Dushmantha Chameera and Avesh Khan as genuine pace bowlers. They also have Jason Holder, who can be a good option with the ball.
Meanwhile, Wood is not the first England player to miss the upcoming season. Earlier, Alex Hales and Jason Roy also pulled out of the tournament due to bio-bubble fatigue.
Wood played in the Indian T20 League in 2018 for Chennai. He played one game and conceded 49 runs in his quota of four overs. Wood has been impressive of late though. He has picked 26 wickets in 19 T20Is for England at an economy of 8.76. He played an instrumental role in taking England to the semi-final of the 20-20 World Cup 2021.
Lucknow will open their campaign against another new team, Gujarat on 28th March at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The tournament is set to get underway on March 26, with a clash between Chennai and Kolkata.