Wright in favour of more testing
England all-rounder Luke Wright has backed proposals for increased out-of-competition drug testing in county cricket.
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An inquest into the death of Surrey's Tom Maynard - a close friend of Wright - has cast a spotlight on the issue after it was revealed the 23-year-old had cocaine and ecstasy in his system at the time of his death in June.
The England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers' Association are currently exploring plans to expand their current anti-doping programme, with a greater emphasis on recreational drugs and more out-of-competition testing.
The majority of the samples taken domestically by the ECB, around 200 a season, are taken on matchdays at present.
Wright's international commitments, not to mention his lucrative Twenty20 contracts in Australia, India and Bangladesh, mean he is exposed to much more sampling than the average county professional but he would be happy to see an expanded remit for the testers.
"I've never seen a need for it before what came to light but if we can change things now I wouldn't be against it, especially if we could help one person avoid what Tom went through," he said.
"I'm so used to being off around the world and being constantly tested in the winter but for the (non-international) players in England who have four or five months off that's not the case and it could be an idea to move towards testing in the winter.
"I suppose we have to (confront the issue) with what's happened. I don't think cricket has a problem, I really don't see that, but then people were very surprised about Tom.
"Personally, I wasn't tested at Sussex last season but I was at games where others were and I easily could have been. We know they can rock up at any time.
"If we can now put something in place for the winter months, all the better. We've just never seen a need to do it until now."
In terms of his own career, Wright is currently on an upward curve.
After a couple of seasons searching for his role, he is established as England's number three in Twenty20 cricket and is an increasingly attractive option with the ball.
A return to the 50-over set-up is next on the agenda and the 27-year-old is currently as confident with his game as he has been since his emergence on the world stage.
"I'm delighted with things. I was desperate to get back into the England team and I did that, made the World T20 squad and was then named in the team of the tournament," he said.
"That was a huge confidence boost and I feel improved as a player. I feel like twice the player I was at the start of my career.
"Going off playing Twenty20 around the world gives me a big advantage, seeing different players from different countries, rubbing shoulders with them and just netting for hours on end."
The jet-setting, cricketing education and healthy bank balance all speak well of Wright's current path, but he admits the Test regulars in the England camp should not be too jealous.
"I know people will want to play in these tournaments but I have my own jealousy of wanting a central contract," he said.
"I'd love one and I'd have loved to play Test cricket."