CHRIS Woakes.
CHRIS Woakes.

BIRMINGHAM: England paceman Chris Woakes is glad to be suffering the ‘normality’ of familiar aches and pains following his first bowling net practice since the coronavirus lockdown.

Warwickshire’s Woakes was back at his Edgbaston home ground in Birmingham on Thursday for an hour-long stint after being chosen for an individual session.

Batsmen and wicket-keepers are due to return from June 1.

The players are seeking to build up their fitness ahead of a three-Test series at home against the West Indies, which looks set to be rescheduled for July behind closed doors.

“It’s what we know, it’s what we do,” Woakes told a conference call on Friday. “Obviously it’s the job, so it was nice to have some form of normality going back to some training.”

England have selected 18 bowlers to take part in individual training sessions across seven grounds, with just a physiotherapist in attendance.

Under strict health measures they are not allowed to use changing rooms and must work with a set of balls they alone can pick up.

“It looks a lot different to what we’re used to,” said the 31-year-old Woakes, an all-rounder and veteran of 33 Tests.

“But at the same time, with what’s everyone’s been through, it was quite nice to be out there and do a bit of training and get the ball back in hand,” the World Cup-winner added. “Obviously not having bowled for two months, there’s a few things that are sore. The sides definitely woke up this morning knowing I’d had a bowl yesterday but it was nice to be back out there.”

Despite the pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) still plan to stage a full international home season that also includes three Tests against Pakistan as well as limited-overs internationals against Australia and Ireland.

Officials from touring teams have made optimistic remarks about wanting to come to England, subject to health advice, and Woakes said: “First and foremost we just hope there’s going to be some form of cricket.

“Obviously it’s going to look different, with it being behind closed doors.”

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has warned a cancelled season could cost his organisation 380 million pounds ($463 million).

“We’ve all seen the projections, that the ECB and the game in general could be in a bit of trouble if we weren’t to play any cricket this summer,” said Woakes. “I think for everyone it’ll be a bit of a boost, and obviously it’ll be a boost for the game.“

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020

Opinion

Digital finance
17 Jan 2021

Digital finance

Raast offers opportunities for inclusion, but is not without risk.
Broadsheetgate
17 Jan 2021

Broadsheetgate

The competence that has underlined NAB and its actions has cost us dearly now and even in 2008.
Debate on ordinances
17 Jan 2021

Debate on ordinances

The government’s line of thinking indicates a belief in the principle of brute majority.
America in decline?
Updated 16 Jan 2021

America in decline?

In spite of the ‘gates’ that rocked the US, democracy stood firm.

Editorial

17 Jan 2021

Foreign funding case

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has summoned both the PML-N and PPP on Monday in connection with the foreign...
17 Jan 2021

Vaccine procurement

ALL eyes are on the government as it pledges to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programme to about 80m citizens by...
17 Jan 2021

Makli ‘renovation’

THERE are fears that the recently conducted ‘renovation’ work carried out at the Makli necropolis may rob the...
16 Jan 2021

Gas liberalisation

AFTER drawing much criticism from both consumers and the opposition over its mismanagement of the energy sector that...
16 Jan 2021

Osama Satti inquiry

THE findings of the judicial inquiry into the Jan 2 killing of 21-year-old Osama Satti in Islamabad merely confirms...
Updated 16 Jan 2021

British MP on IHK

DESPITE sustained efforts by New Delhi’s rulers to remove India-held Kashmir from the global discourse, people of...