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Monday May 27, 2024

Woakes feared for Test future after knee injury

By Our Correspondent
May 31, 2023

LONDON: England´s Chris Woakes said Tuesday he feared he might never play Test cricket again following a long lay-off due to a knee in jury. The Warwickshire pace bowling all-rounder was side lined from first-class cricket for more than a year after knee surgery and has not played a Test since facing the West Indies in March 2022. But the 34-year-old has been included in England´s squad for their lone Test against Ireland at Lord´s start ing on Thursday and a strong showing at the ´Home of Cricket´ could see Woakes feature in the upcoming home Ashes series. "Last summer was quite a tough summerfor me person ally, missing out on not just England cricket but all cricket," Woakes told re porters at Lord´s on Tuesday. And there was no disguis ing the relief Woakes, a vet eran of 45 Tests, felt at getting a call from England coach Brendon McCullum telling him he was back in the red ball squad. "When Brendan did call me it felt, not like the first call-up, but it always means a lot and it´s great to be back amongst it," he said. "Those sort of doubts (about playing again for Eng land) do run through your mind a little bit. That´s part and parcel of professional sport, whether it be form, in jury or whatever it is, there´s always someone knocking on the door, younger players ready to come in." England have won 10 out of 12 Tests since McCullum and captainBen Stokes joined forces last year. But although fellow pacemen James Ander son and Ollie Robinson have been rested from the Ireland game in the hope they will be fully fitfor next month´sAshes opener at Edgbaston, Woakes still has ambitions to faceAus tralia this season. —A