England’s bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes will return to his county side Birmingham Bears for their quarterfinal match against Kent in the T20 Blast on Friday. He was released by the national board after constant persuasion from the Bears’ side.
Woakes hasn’t played a Test match for England in over a year but he will stay in the fray until he attains match fitness. He might get a chance to be added to England’s squad for the fourth and fifth Tests if he is deemed to be fit enough.
Woakes recovered from a broken heel he suffered in a Test against Pakistan last year. He bowled around 25 overs in a four-day match against Worcestershire which bodes well both for his county and his country.
England is short on bowling resources at the moment having lost Jofra Archer to an elbow injury that has plagued him for a while now. Ben Stokes has taken an indefinite break from cricket so his services will also be missed. Woakes is part of the main playing XI so he will be keen to nurse himself back to full fitness.
Chris Woakes’ addition will bolster an injury-ravaged Birmingham Bears side
The Birmingham squad is depleted following several injuries in their contingent. Olly Stone, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Henry Brookes, and veteran Ryan Sidebottom are all suffering from injuries. West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has also returned to play in the Caribbean Premier League.
Birmingham’s coach, Mark Robinson, was gutted with the number of injuries his team has had to deal with. However, he remained hopeful of his troops delivering the results now that a world-class player like Chris Woakes will turn for the match.
“We have had to overcome some setbacks this year with missed personnel. I suppose the advantage is that we’ve been there before. We know what our best team looks like and we’ve never really put it out. But when you play for Warwickshire – or Birmingham – you never are the underdogs. That’s what the message will be,” he said.
Birmingham Bears will face off against Kent in the last quarterfinal of the T20 Vitality Blast on Friday at Canterbury.