England pacer Chris Woakes has revealed that it wasn’t an easy decision for him to skip the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He admitted it would be rewarding in terms of finances, but he has prioritized red-ball cricket with the Ashes looming.
Woakes has played for three different franchises Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017, Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2018, and Delhi Capitals in 2021. Although he didn’t feature in IPL 2022, the England all-rounder would most likely have found a franchise during the mini-auction on December 23 given his ability to contribute to all three departments.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Woakes said that he didn’t want to decide on his IPL participation from a financial standpoint.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, by any means. There’s still a part of me that wishes I could go because the IPL is a great tournament and financially it could be very rewarding – but I didn’t want to make the decision solely on finance.
“It’s a tricky scenario: having just won a World Cup, potentially stock could be high. The IPL is hard to turn down because the best players go there, it’s financially rewarding and it’s been brilliant for my career but the trade-off is that opportunity to play for Warwickshire, which I’ve always loved doing.”
“I can play red-ball cricket and get through it” – Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes also revealed that his current priority lies in representing England in Test cricket and wants to do everything to make his case for the Ashes after missing the 2022 summer.
“It’s an Ashes year and I haven’t played much red-ball cricket. I need to suggest to people and remind people that I can play red-ball cricket and get through it – both from a fitness point of view, but also to show what I can do to try and have a go at being part of the Ashes.”
Woakes also claimed there’s nothing like winning an Ashes and believes that the side under the leadership of Ben Stokes can achieve the feat.
“Winning an Ashes series where you play a really strong part would be extremely rewarding. It’s something that I probably would like to tick off. The 2019 series was a tight one with some amazing games to be part of, but there’s nothing like winning an Ashes series. Fingers crossed, that’s something we, as an England team, can do in the summer.”