IPL 2021: England all-rounder Chris Woakes opens up about withdrawal from UAE leg (AFP Photo)
England all-rounder Chris Woakes said on Tuesday that he decided to pull out of the remainder of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in the UAE, keeping in mind his commitments at the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. Woakes was one of the three England players along with Johnny Bairstow and Dawid Malan to withdraw from the UAE leg of the tournament.
Chris Woakes, who returned to the England Test side after injury concerns during the incomplete 5-Test series at home against India, said he felt playing the IPL would mean "too much cricket" in a short span of time. The IPL 2021 resumes from September 19 while the T20 World Cup will get underway from October 17 in the UAE and Oman.
The Delhi Capitals roped in Australias Ben Dwarshius as a replacement for Chris Woakes for the UAE leg.
"My inclusion in the World Cup squad, I didnt know was going to happen - especially a couple of months ago. The IPL has been rescheduled and thrown on to the end of our summer," Woakes told The Guardian.
Also Read: Pakistan T20 World Cup squad
"With the World Cup and the Ashes, it would have been too much in a short space of time. I would have loved to have been part of the IPL but something has to give," Woakes added.
Woakes is gearing up to play county cricket for Warwickshire after opting out of IPL.
England will head to the T20 World Cup in the UAE and the major tournament will be followed by the much-anticipated Ashes in Australia later this year. It remains to be seen if families will be allowed to travel with the players Down Under.
Woakes believes that the upcoming cricket season will be as big as the home summer in 2019 where England drew the Ashes at home after winning the 50-over World Cup.
“A World Cup and an Ashes tour, it’s almost as big a winter as our summer was in 2019. It’s a shame with what’s going on Covid-wise that it’s not going to be as normal as everyone would like. But, from a cricket perspective, it’s very exciting.”
Delhi Capitals will begin their campaign against Sunrirsers Hyderabad on September 22 in Dubai.