Woakes highlights focusing on T20 World Cup 2021: The English all-rounder wants to be fully engaged with the world event.
England all-rounder Chris Woakes, who has played 39 Tests and 106 ODIs for England, has only represented his country 10 times in the shortest format. Woakes, who had been a regular part of England’s Test and ODI squads over the years, had played his last T20I way back in 2015 before playing a couple of them against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
Woakes, who had registered combined bowling figures of 7-0-23-1 in two T20Is, earned a surprise recall to England’s 15-member World Cup squad and will now be among the multi-format players who will play the world event in the UAE followed by Ashes 2021-22 down under.
While Woakes’ eight T20I wickets have come at an economy and strike rate of 8.11 and 24.50 respectively, his 91 runs have come at a strike rate of 144.44.
Unlike many players of England and other teams, Woakes hasn’t played much of freelance T20 cricket in the last half-a-decade. The fact that he hadn’t played a T20 in 2019 and 2020 further confirms the same.
Chris Woakes highlights focusing on T20 World Cup 2021 and not Ashes 2021-22 for now
Speaking in an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Woakes categorically highlighted focusing on the World Cup and not Ashes 2021-22 at this point in time.
Woakes, 32, didn’t aim at not concentrating on their premier Test tour but was more of the opinion that the world event deserves equal engagement. As far as the Ashes are concerned, a lot of off-field discussions around quarantine rules are in process. Woakes opined that there are people who are dealing with all that on behalf of the players.
“We have a big World Cup in front of us, you don’t want to get to the end of the World Cup and think ‘I wasn’t fully engaged’,” Woakes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“We have to give this our full attention – what is going on with the Ashes is on the back-burner and there are people dealing with that on our behalf. You can’t get too fixated on that – it is important we focus on the here and now. It is a great opportunity to lift some silverware for your country and, to be honest, I think this T20 World Cup could pretty much be won by anyone.”
In the T20 World Cup, Woakes will have to contest against Chris Jordan, Mark Wood, David Willey, Tymal Mills and Tom Curran for a spot in the English Playing XI. Sam Curran getting ruled out of the World Cup might just open up a spot for Woakes for he too can contribute with the bat much like the southpaw.
England, who will be eyeing a rare distinction of winning both the white-ball World Cups, will be starting their campaign against defending champions West Indies on the first day of Round 2 (October 23) in Dubai.