Chris Woakes has withdrawn from the Delhi Capitals squad for the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, according to Press Association.
Woakes, 31, has two years of experience in the IPL, playing for Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challenges Bangalore in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In the auction for the 2020 season, Woakes was picked up for a sum of around £160,000 and had been highlighted by Delhi coach Ricky Ponting in the build-up to the auction.
“There’s going to be a lot of focus and attention on fast bowlers, overseas ones in particular,” said Ponting. “Pat Cummins could go for big money, as could Chris Woakes.”
Woakes is currently with the England Test squad, who have recently arrived in Sri Lanka ahead of their two-match series that forms part of the ongoing World Test Championship. It is understood by PA that Woakes is pulling out of the IPL in order to keep himself fresh ahead of the 2020 English summer.
While he might not have got on the field too often, it has still been a busy winter for Woakes. He has been a part of all three of England’s Test tours – in New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka – as well as their ODI squad for the trip to South Africa.
With the IPL scheduled to start towards the backend of England’s tour to Sri Lanka and end just over a week and a half before England’s home Test series against West Indies begins, prior to Woakes’ withdrawal from the IPL, there would have been very little opportunity for rest.
The IPL, in theory, represented an opportunity for Woakes to press forward his claim for a T20 World Cup berth. Realistically though, Woakes is an outsider at best to force his way into the final 15-man squad. He hasn’t played a T20I for England in nearly five years and hasn’t played a T20 game anywhere in the world since the 2018 T20 Blast.