Chris Woakes has made just 10 appearances in T20I, more than a decade after his England debut in the shorter format; England will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against the West Indies on October 23; watch the tournament live on Sky Sports starting October 17
Chris Woakes admits that he feared his international career in the T20 might have ended until his surprise visit to the England team to face Sri Lanka over the summer.
The 32-year-old off-roader had not represented England in the shorter format for six years prior to his call-up against Sri Lanka, but is now gearing up for the T20 World Cup, which kicks off next week in Oman. and the United Arab Emirates, live on Sky Sports Cricket.
Woakes said, “I certainly hadn’t given up, but at the same time I thought maybe that ship had potentially sailed. I’d be lying if I said I think I’m probably going to try again.
“I was hoping to get another chance, whenever it was, and I wasn’t thinking of retiring from that format, but I certainly thought they might have moved on from coming back to me.
“Obviously, I am delighted to have the opportunity to have another shot at a World Cup and I am very excited about that.
“There is no guarantee that I, or anyone else, will be selected for the next one, so you should make the most of the here and now. It is a great opportunity to raise silverware for your country.
“To be honest, I think almost anyone can win this T20 World Cup, so that’s exciting too and it’s a great tournament to be a part of.”
Although Woakes made his T20I debut more than a decade ago, his appearance against Sri Lanka at Southampton in June was only his 10th caps in the format.
Rather, he has racked up over a century of ODI appearances, including England’s memorable World Cup triumph at Lord’s in 2019, as well as appearing in 39 events.
“From the way the game progressed across three formats, there’s no way I would have made my T20 debut in 2011,” Woakes reflected. “Back then I was acting like a red ball cricketer more than anything else, but they handed me my T20 debut.
“The game has changed, now there are more players who play certain formats and are committed to that.
“I wish I had played more than a handful of games in this format, but I think that not having to focus too much on the international T20 has helped my other formats, in particular my ODI game and also testing.
“I’ve played a lot of T20 cricket for quite a few franchise teams, including some IPL stuff, against some high-quality players. Hopefully I can build on that experience and benefit.”
Woakes appeared for Delhi Capitals at the IPL before the tournament was suspended earlier this year, but declined the opportunity to return for his restart to focus on his upcoming commitments with England.
His decision to stay at home also provided him with the opportunity to enjoy national success with Warwickshire, who defeated Somerset in a thrilling final to bring the county championship title to Edgbaston and then crushed Lancashire to lift the Bob Willis Trophy.
“It was a difficult decision not to go to the IPL and fulfill my contract with a great franchise,” Woakes added. “I really enjoyed my time there earlier in the year. It was a bit embarrassing, but I made my decision based on the time remaining.
“Winning the Championship was a bit unexpected. At first, I was only going to play one of the last two games. But as soon as we won against Yorkshire and then we had a chance to win the Championship, I couldn’t.” Do not say no.
“Those opportunities don’t come up too often and I’m delighted to have played and contributed to another championship coming back to Warwickshire.”
Watch the T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports between October 17 and November 14.