Wood overcomes hamstring injury

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker captain Jeremy Wood will take his place in the WA Country XI side after overcoming a hamstring injury ahead of the Australian Country Cricket Championships, which begin in Geraldton on Friday.

Wood sustained a hamstring strain in the field during the Bulls’ Twenty20 semifinal against Manypeaks on December 10 and was in a race against time to represent WA for the second consecutive year at the championships.

However, the Kendenup farmer has won his battle to be fit and will join fellow Albany Cricket Association representatives Zane Marwick and Nathan Crudeli in the final 14-man men’s team.

“I’m pretty confident I’ll be right,” Wood said.

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“I’ve never done one before so at the time I wasn’t really sure how bad it was or how long it would take.

“I can’t feel it now. It’s fine when I run so the main test will be bowling.

“It’s been tough because we’ve been really busy at home but I’ve been diligent with my rehab and looked after myself.”

WA Country XI coach Michael Thistle confirmed Wood was all right to go but said he would be monitored early on during the T20s to ensure he could complete the carnival.

“Jeremy is an important part to the balance of our side,” he said.

“We will certainly manage him at the start in the T20s and if he can only get through one game a day in the double-headers then that’s what we will do. But all indications from him is he’s ready.

“He’s been having hits and started bowling this week.”

Thistle was buoyed by the fact Railways fast bowler Crudeli is also fully fit as he prepares to lead the WA attack.

“Nath Crudeli had some issues regarding his back,” he said.

“Likely to be an effect of playing all winter in England but he has recovered and is right to go and bowl at full pace.”

WA will travel to Geraldton on Thursday before starting their campaign against NSW on Friday.

The first three days of the tournament will feature Twenty20 matches, with a final on Sunday evening before the championships then head into one-day games.

The Great Southern region has a strong representation at the championships, with the male trio joined by Albany’s Bonnie Crook, former Mt Barker junior Georgie Middleton and ex-Albany resident Samara Williams, who will be a part of the WA women’s side that starts its carnival on Sunday.

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