Chris Woakes has revealed that his decision to withdraw from the IPL is down to a really hectic international calendar and his personal need to “recharge his batteries,” which in turn will help him extend his England career.
Woakes was picked by Delhi Capitals for INR 1.5 crores at the 2020 IPL auction.
“I want to play for England as long as possible – that’s still the pinnacle for me,” Woakes, who’s in Sri Lanka for the Test series, said. “I just feel like I’d been on a bit of a treadmill and I needed to get off for a bit of a breather. From a mental point of view it’s about recharging those batteries.”
Woakes clarified that he didn’t participate in the IPL auction with an intention to pull out but he’s been a part of the IPL — “been there and done it” — but that it’s “impossible to do everything” with a young family to tend to.
“The IPL is great but I’ve been there and done it. That’s not to say I don’t want to do it again but at this moment England is the most important thing to me, as well as spending time at home with the family where I can,” Woakes said. “You don’t put yourself into these things intending to pull out. I went into the IPL auction hoping that I would get picked up, it’s a great experience. But it’s impossible to do everything.
“International cricket can be draining at the best of times because there’s so much pressure on you to perform. There’s always people knocking on the door and to stay on top of your game all year round is hard. The schedule has just got busier and busier – the only breaks you really get in international cricket are at IPL time.”
With the T20 World Cup due later this year, IPL could have been a chance for Woakes to get back into England’s T20 fold, at least in the reckoning after he lost his place in the build-up to the ODI World Cup, which England won. Woakes would have it no other way.
“If I felt like I had real good opportunity to be in that T20 squad I’d probably still go to the IPL and try to produce some good form. (The selectors) know what I’m about and what I can do but realistically it’d probably take a few injuries for me to be in contention.
“I suppose I don’t know the answer to why that happened. I think it happened gradually. The 50-over World Cup was prioritised, which was right, and during that period I was rested during a lot of T20 series.
“Would I want to change that or have it any other way? No, because it meant that I focused more on 50-over cricket and that has made me a World Cup winner – you can’t take that away. Hopefully I’ve extended my career rather than trying to spread it across all three formats.”