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Luke Wood reveals words of wisdom from Wasim Akram helped him on his England debut

England seamer Luke Wood reveals words of wisdom from bowling legend Wasim Akram that helped him claim a three-wicket haul on debut in the T20 win over Pakistan

  • England seamer Luke Wood impressed on his debut in the T20 win over Pakistan
  • The 27-year-old bowled with pace and aggression to claim a trio of late victims
  • He was the seventh southpaw paceman selected in England’s T20 squad this year
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Luke Wood launched his international career this week with advice from the great Wasim Akram fresh in his mind.

For a left-armer, there can be no more revered mentor than the former Pakistan fast bowler.

“As a kid him and Ryan Sidebottom were my two that I looked up to and luckily I got to speak to him when I was over here in the Pakistan Super League in February so that was pretty cool,” reflected Wood, after a debut three for 24 in the opening match of seven Twenty20 internationals here.

England seamer Luke Wood impressed on his debut in the T20 win over Pakistan
England seamer Luke Wood impressed on his debut in the T20 win over Pakistan

England seamer Luke Wood impressed on his debut in the T20 win over Pakistan

‘We were talking about bowling and he did a bit at Lancashire earlier in the year and we had another chat so I got a few tips from him. He doesn’t tell you how to bowl, he suggests little things you could think about, like plans.’

Wood’s plans at Karachi’s National Stadium on Thursday night are unlikely to change from Tuesday, when he bowled with pace and aggression to claim a trio of late victims and help restrict Pakistan to 71 runs from the last 10 overs.

The six-wicket win was special for the 27-year-old, who realized “they don’t just give England caps for no reason” as a non-playing member of a one-day tour of Holland in mid-summer.

The 27-year-old bowled with pace and aggression to claim a trio of late victims
The 27-year-old bowled with pace and aggression to claim a trio of late victims

The 27-year-old bowled with pace and aggression to claim a trio of late victims

Wood launched his international career with advice from the great Wasim Akram (above) fresh in his mind
Wood launched his international career with advice from the great Wasim Akram (above) fresh in his mind

Wood launched his international career with advice from the great Wasim Akram (above) fresh in his mind

Not being first choice is a common theme. Wood was the seventh southpaw paceman to be picked in England’s 2022 T20 squad, and gone are the days when they were simply thrown in for variety. He was one of three along with Sam Curran and David Willey in game one.

‘The idea that you can play too many left-arm players is a huge myth. Teams can play four right-handers but can’t play four left-handers? I just never understood it, Wood said.

“We are all different: all different heights and speeds, all have different characteristics.”

Combinations for the attack could be limited to the first of two games in 24 hours as Richard Gleeson, one of England’s stand-by players for next month’s World Cup, was assessed last night after hip discomfort kept him out for two overs during Pakistan’s first innings of the campaign.

Wood, meanwhile, is grateful Roses rival Harry Brook is an ally here, having nominated the Yorkshire batsman – who hit a dreamy 42 not out on Tuesday – as his toughest opponent.

‘I tell him that all the time. He’s a very difficult player to bowl to, at the moment and generally – red ball cricket, white ball cricket, he’s one of the most talented people I’ve come across,” Wood said.

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