Durham Jets’ Mark Wood (left) and Keaton Jennings were involved in the North team.

Durham stars Mark Wood and Paul Coughlin have returned from the inaugural ECB North v South series with mixed feelings about the new season curtain-raiser in Abu Dhabi.

The series – featuring three 50-over games – saw a convincing 3-0 win to the South against a North side led by Keaton Jennings, but still proved valuable for the three Durham players involved.

It was an opportunity for Wood to get overs in his legs ahead of the new season and his fitness will be a huge positive for Durham.

Wood said: “I think, on reflection, yes it was a great set-up and a great start for that series, but a lot of their lads had just come off the back of trips.

“If you’re going to do it, it’ll have to be right at the end of the season when everyone’s just finished playing, because they looked a lot sharper then we were and we got a good hammering.”

Captaining the North side was useful experience for Jennings ahead of him skippering Durham in 50-over cricket this season.

However, the opener struggled for runs – a concern as Durham look to replace the runs scored by Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick last season.

It was also a chance for up and coming Coughlin to impress the England set-up, with the 24-year-old saying: “I think the North v South series was a pretty good platform, because obviously you don’t get to play in front of the selectors very often. This was a chance to play in front of all that group who are involved with England.”

The all-rounder also relished the challenges of Abu Dhabi, adding: “The pitches were pretty flat so thats always going to be a bit tough, and the standard of players that you’re playing against is also quite tough.”