A left arm pace bowler and useful lower order left handed batsman, Luke Wood made a rapid rise from Nottinghamshire Premier League cricket and the County’s age group sides to a County Championship debut when he was barely nineteen years old.  He played first team cricket for Nottinghamshire for five seasons, before joining Lancashire ahead of the 2020 summer.

Wood was born in Sheffield on 2 August 1995, attended Portland School in Worksop and played club cricket with Cuckney from an early age.  By the age of 15, he was a regular starter in the Club’s Nottinghamshire Premier League side.  He was also a member of the County’s Under-17s team in 2011 and in 2012 was part of the side which won the ECB Under-17s County Championship.                                                   

County second eleven cricket soon followed as did selection for England Under-19s, with Wood playing in Under-19 One-Day Internationals against Pakistan in the winter of 2013/14 and in Under-19 Tests and ODIs against South Africa in the following English summer. 

Luke Wood’s rapid development continued.  He was the leading wicket taker for the Notts Academy in 2014 and made his First-Class debut at the end of that season, just a few weeks after his nineteenth birthday.  His debut match in the final County Championship match of 2014 against Sussex at Trent Bridge was followed by regular appearances during the following season.  Wood played in 11 County Championship matches in 2015, taking 30 wickets and in particular showed an ability to swing the new ball with his skiddy action.

A series of niggling injuries disrupted Wood’s progress in subsequent seasons and, when fit, he was often overlooked in favour of bowlers such as Broad, Ball, Fletcher, Gurney and Hutton and overseas pace stars.  Wood twice went on loan to other counties and played once in the Championship for Worcestershire in 2018 and in four matches for Northamptonshire in 2019.  In his five seasons with Nottinghamshire, Wood took 86 wickets in 35 First-Class matches.  His best Championship figures of 5-67 came in his final red ball match for the County, when he took the first five Yorkshire wickets at Scarborough to help reduce the home side to 38-5.

Although primarily seen as a bowler, Wood demonstrated his ability with the bat in just his fifth First-Class match, scoring a hundred against Sussex.  Batting at number 9 and striding to the wicket at 98-7, Wood’s run-a-ball 100 not out took Notts to a first innings total of 255 and ultimate victory.  Post-match, Notts’ Director of Cricket Mick Newell declared that ‘in first-class cricket it's the most remarkable hundred I've ever seen.’ Other useful scores have since come Wood’s way but that remains his only three figure total.

Wood played in just four List-A matches for Nottinghamshire but made his mark in T20 cricket.  He was part of the Outlaws’ squad which lifted the T20 Blast in 2017, playing in six games on the way to Finals Day.  He went a step further in 2018 when on loan with Worcestershire for the T20 campaign, playing in 14 matches and helping the Rapids lift the Trophy in the Final at Edgbaston.  Back with Notts for the 2019 T20 season, Wood played in nine games and took 11 wickets as the Club reached finals day.

Luke Wood was offered a new contract by Notts during 2019 but opted instead to sign a three-year deal with Lancashire.  He will be remembered at Trent Bridge for some fine performances but also for always displaying his commitment and enthusiasm on the field and his exuberant celebrations upon taking a wicket.

 

May 2020