England allrounder Chris Woakes feels that in hindsight there was no need for him to pull out from this year’s IPL as coronavirus pandemic would have anyway prevented his participation. However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have his reasons to give the cash-rich league a miss. Also Read - Maharashtra Latest News Today: CM Uddhav Thackeray Announces Pay Hike For Doctors Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Apart from starting afresh for England, Woakes’ wife was pregnant and he didn’t like the idea of spending significant time away from home. “By no means do I feel like I’m finished in T20. I’d still love to play in the IPL. In hindsight I probably didn’t need to pull out. I didn’t say it at the time but we’re expecting another baby in September and that added to the decision,” Woakes told reporters during an interaction via video-conference. Also Read - LaLiga 2020-21 to Begin From September 12, Says President Javier Tebas
While England career is still priority No.1, he would still be interested in playing other tournaments like IPL. Also Read - Renowned Astrologer Bejan Daruwalla Passes Away at 89 Due to COVID-19; Gujarat CM Rupani Expresses Grief
“My wife wasn’t well at home. The idea of being away from home for three months was going to be too much. Family had to come first. I want to play as much cricket as I can moving forward while looking after my body. My England career is No.1 but if opportunities come up, I’d still like to play in them,” he said.
The 31-year-old has played 33 Tests, 101 ODIs and 8 T20Is since making his international debut in 2011 and he played an integral role in England’s world cup win at home last year.
Woakes last played a T20I in November 2018 and says that he will need to have an ‘unbelievable summer’ to have any chance of making it to the world cup later this year,
“At the minute it doesn’t quite look like I’m going to get a go in T20 (world cup) unless something drastic happens in terms of injuries. I’d probably have to have had an unbelievable summer,” he said.
Woakes is open to the idea of playing cricket in an empty stadium. “At least give the public something to watch and hopefully entertain some who are missing it a lot,” he said. “We’d want a three-week block (of preparation) to get overs in your legs to be able to back up a 20-over day in a Test. But again that might not be possible either. So I think two weeks would probably be the minimum.”
He also reckons that the coronavirus could possibly bring in a permanent change on the practice of shining ball with the saliva. “I try and use as much sweat as possible rather than putting your hands in your mouth just from a normal hygiene point of view. But I think it could potentially change the way things work with the ball,” he said.