Chris Woakes reflects on the “frustrating winter” with England and shares the taxi with Moeen Ali, which meant he had to isolate himself and subsequently was unable to play in Sri Lanka; Woakes could now appear for the first time in T20I since 2015 and is aiming for a World Cup spot
Chris Woakes says his winter with England felt like ‘a little wasted’
Chris Woakes says his winter with England “felt like a waste” as he was unable to make an appearance at home.
The all-rounder was named the PCA Men’s Player of the Year last summer after starring in England with bat and ball.
But he has not played for his nation since a one-day international game against Australia in September 2020 due to a combination of complications from Covid-19, non-selection and England’s much-debated rest and rotation policy.
Woakes felt it was a “shoo in” to play in the January Test series against Sri Lanka, but then had to isolate himself after being in close contact with Moeen Ali, who tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival on the island.
“It was a frustrating winter for me,” said Woakes, who could make his international comeback against Sri Lanka next week after being named to England’s T20 squad for the first time since 2015.
“I had to play in the ODI series in South Africa before it was postponed due to Covid. Then I had to isolate myself in Sri Lanka after having been in contact with Moeen.
“It was a really frustrating time and not playing a single game all winter after summer, it had almost felt like a waste.”
Woakes shared a taxi with Moeen at Heathrow Airport ahead of the flight to Sri Lanka and the ECB’s decision that the duo travel together still upsets the SUV.
He added: “I felt like I was ready to play that first test match in Sri Lanka. [which England won 2-0]. What happened had a knock-on effect and when the team gets it right, it suddenly becomes difficult to get back in.
“It was a big and unfortunate event that had a ripple effect for the rest of my winter with England.
“It doesn’t mean that I would have played all the test matches in the winter, but I could have had a chance to put my hand on it and the thoughts on selecting for future test matches could have been different.
“It was a great moment and there were apologies, but at the end of the day it’s an unfortunate situation that they put us in and I got lost because of it.
“I expressed my frustration at the time and they apologized. Every stone was turned over, but that’s what we didn’t do well and I paid a price for that.
“It was great to be with the team, but you want to play cricket and make the most of your form when you’re hot.
“I really want to put that behind me and look to the future as it has definitely been a difficult few months since September.”
When asked if he could have returned to England’s side for the test series against New Zealand after the postponement of the IPL due to the coronavirus, Woakes said: “Those two tests against New Zealand were conducted quite late.
“The problem was that as soon as he came out of isolation in London, he would have had a few days at home, then he would have to have played for Warwickshire to be available in any part of that series.
“There was also the tricky side of the Covid restrictions. Once we made the decision, it was never really an option to play the second Test Match, you should have been in the bubble at the beginning.”
The 32-year-old admits he is “surprised” to be back in England’s T20 squad after last playing for them in the format against Pakistan almost six years ago, but now hopes to claim a place in the England Cup. World ahead. this year.
The Warwickshire man added: “I was not afraid I had played my last T20 but I thought I could have played my last so it was a surprise to get the call.
“I notice some injuries [to Ben Stokes, Olly Stone and Jofra Archer] They have given me a chance but it doesn’t take anything away from me trying to raise my hand to be part of the World Cup.
“I have to look at it that way, I think. I see it as an opportunity and I’m certainly not here just to make up the numbers.”
“Of many ways [not playing T20 internationals] It has helped my career in Test and ODI, as playing all three at the highest level is quite difficult, even more so as a bowler and off-roader.