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Why this England pacer opted out of IPL 2023

Last updated on: March 09, 2023 18:00 IST

'Whenever I've come back from the IPL before I don't feel I've come back in the best shape going into the Test summer.'

IMAGE: Chris Woakes looks to return to the England squad for the Ashes. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England seamer Chris Woakes wants to return to the Test squad for the upcoming Ashes series against Australia on home soil, having not played in the longest format in almost a year.

Woakes last played for England during their tour of the West Indies in March 2022, missing the entire summer that year because of a knee injury.


Since their series defeat in the Caribbean, England have undergone a resurgence under new coach Brendon McCullum, earning plaudits for an entertaining and attacking style of play dubbed "Bazball".

Being forced to watch things from the sidelines, Woakes now wants to be in the mix for the Ashes, which will begin with the first test at Edgbaston on June 16.

"I would love to be a part of it and I still feel my record in England stands up against anyone's," Woakes told British media on Wednesday.

"If I can get myself red-ball fit and firing and bowling well I'd like to think I'd be in the mix. It's a tough side to get into, I recognise that, and have an opportunity at the start of the season to put in some performances."

Woakes, a World Cup winner with England in the white-ball formats, has opted to skip the lucrative IPL to return to County Championship side Warwickshire in his bid to make a Test comeback.

"Whenever I've come back from the IPL before I don't feel I've come back in the best shape going into the Test summer," he said.

"For me, that jump from T20 to Test cricket is quite a big jump and I have found that transition quite hard. It's different for batsmen. It's trickier for bowlers and all-rounders to go from tournament to tournament and still play for England."

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