Test is best for England fast bowler Wood

London (AFP) –


World Cup-winning fast bowler Mark Wood would opt for a place in England's Test side if a congested schedule means they have to field entirely separate squads this season following the coronavirus outbreak.

An expanded training group of up to 45 players is due to be named on Friday, with the 18 bowlers already invited back for individual sessions soon to be joined by batsmen and wicketkeepers.

Despite the pandemic delaying the start of their home season, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) still plans to stage a full international programme that includes three-Test series against West Indies and Pakistan as well as limited-overs internationals against Australia and Ireland.

The ECB previously said its "worst-case" scenario, with no cricket played, could mean a £380 million ($469 million) hole in its finances.

But with several months of the season wiped out, England may still need to field separate red and white-ball squads in order for players to have sufficient time for training and recovery.

Wood was a member of the England side that won last year's World Cup but the Durham quick would still rather play Test cricket.

The 30-year-old's career has been blighted by ankle injuries, meaning he has played just 15 Tests since a 2015 debut against New Zealand at Lord's.

But the last of those, against South Africa at Johannesburg in January saw him return Test-best match figures of nine for 100 and Wood is keen to carry on from where he left off at the Wanderers ground.

"I love playing for England in any format, I'm passionate about playing for England, but with my last Test match where I did so well I'd love to try and keep my position," Wood told Sky's Cricket Show.

"Coming off a man-of-the-match performance I'd love to keep my spot and keep that momentum going," he added.