Derbyshire’s Tom Wood says he’s grateful for all of the support he’s received and hopes his story can help to prevent others from facing a similar situation in the future.
Wood, 28, returned to Second XI cricket this month, having served a six-month ban after a medical screening highlighted the prescribed use of a controlled substance.
The homegrown talent says the support he received from Derbyshire County Cricket Club, as well as the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), was crucial to helping him get through the testing period, and wants cricketers across the game to take note of his situation to avoid going through anything similar.
“I’m incredibly grateful, everyone at the Club has been so understanding and supportive from the very start,” Wood told BBC Radio Derby.
“That made it a lot easier for me, my family have been unbelievable and the PCA have supported me more than I could ever have imagined.
“If we can take one positive away from what’s happened to me is that everybody at the Club, and hopefully all the cricketers around the country have read the story, are a lot more vigilant and aware of the precaution we have to take around UK anti-doping.
“Hopefully what has happened to me doesn’t have to happen to anybody again. If we can take that away from my case, that’s a positive.”
Wood has been one of the standout players in local league cricket over the last decade, but his ban prevented him from involvement his club side, Ticknall.
Since becoming available, the opener has begun playing league cricket again, as well as gaining match sharpness in the Derbyshire Second XI ahead of the forthcoming Royal London Cup.
In last year’s competition, Wood struck the fastest List A century in Club history, with a 55-ball ton against Nottinghamshire at The Incora County Ground, and he’s looking forward to representing Derbyshire again before the end of the campaign.
“I’ve been thinking about [returning to action for Derbyshire] for a long time,” he added.
“That’s one of the main driving points that got me through the tough times, to be able to think about walking back out there at Derby, pulling on the shirt and playing for the Club I’ve been a part of since I was ten, and who have supported me so well through this period.
“I’m desperate to get back out there and play, to help us win more games of cricket.”
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