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Wasn't an easy decision: Woakes opens up on giving up on IPL 2023

Last updated on 19 Dec 2022 | 12:41 PM
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Wasn't an easy decision: Woakes opens up on giving up on IPL 2023

The England all-rounder has instead preferred to show his allegiance to the national team

Australian and English players have had quite a big decision to make, with the conclusion of the Indian Premier League nearly colliding with the start of the Ashes, in England. Several Australian players, including Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have either pulled out of the IPL Auction or have not registered themselves, for the same reason. 

Joining the illustrious list is the 33-year-old, Chris Woakes. Woakes last played the IPL for Delhi Capitals, in 2021, and had more than a decent chance of getting a suitor. But the all-rounder has made the decision of skipping the tournament, and insisted that it was a tricky decision. 

"It wasn't an easy decision, by any means," Woakes told ESPNcricinfo. 

"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. There are obviously some other players who are likely to go big but I could have been next on the list behind them,” he added.

Chris Woakes last appearance in the longest format came way back in March 2022, against West Indies. Since then, the all-rounder has only made appearances in the white-ball format. But with Ashes around, the 33-year-old insisted that he wanted to focus on the red-ball format, and work hard towards making a return. 

"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."

"He (Rob Key) was very clear that I was still a part of the Test plans but obviously I needed to get myself fit, and get my knee right."

In the recent time, the number of international fixtures has forced players to restrict themselves to just the one or two formats, with most of the priority for white-ball cricket. But Woakes insisted that he would want to play all the three formats as long as possible. 

"I'll try and play as long as I possibly can. I certainly don't want to hang on. That decision might be made for me and if that's the case, I might be a white-ball specialist one day, but whilst I can and whilst I'm enjoying it, I'll try and be that three-format cricketer for as long as I possibly can."

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