• Wood: Bancroft comes with a point to prove

    England fast bowler Mark Wood has expressed surprise at Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft’s elevation to the Durham captaincy.

    Bancroft’s ban from international cricket after last year’s involvement in the ball-tampering saga that marred Australia’s Test tour of South Africa has ended.

    He has since played for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League – and Western Australia in first-class competition. The 26-year-old, too, will lead Durham in the County Championship Division Two.

    ‘I thought “that’s a gutsy call”. I probably wouldn’t have done that, but having given it more thought it’s probably the right option,’ Wood was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

    ‘We have a young team, so there were only two other players I thought could have done it. One would have been Alex Lees, but at this time in his career it’s probably better that he focuses on himself and goes under the radar a little bit.

    ‘The other one would be Chris Rushworth, but we all know bowlers never become captains because they think that we’re dumb.

    ‘Bancroft comes here with a point to prove. Anything that anyone thinks, or anything that’s said to him, will have been thought and said before and he’ll have had worse. He’s gone through a horrible time and that time will have made him a stronger character.’

    Durham’s opening 2019 County Championship will be against Derbyshire, starting on 5 April.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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