England all-rounder Chris Woakes has requested players from Australia and England not to involve off the field issues in the Ashes. The Ashes is less than a week away to kick off with the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 8.
Ahead of the series, both the camps have been hit with controversies which might not help them to focus for the biggest competition of Test cricket.
Tim Paine had to step down from Australia’s Test captaincy role after his sexting scandal was out in the public domain. Pat Cummins, who was Paine’s deputy, was promoted as the captain of the team.
On the other hand, England cricket is under turmoil after former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq alleged that many players at the club in 2009/10 period used racist slurs against him.
Whatever goes on the field, goes on the field: Chris Woakes
Woakes, who will be part of England’s pace attack along with James Anderson and Stuart Broad, said that players should not bring controversial matters on the field
“Whatever goes on the field, goes on the field, and an Ashes series raises that rivalry. I think what’s happened in both camps, a lot of the issues are personal and cricket is played best when that sort of stuff is left to the side and we let the skills do the talking, which I’m sure will happen,” Woakes said in the press conference.
“In my experience, playing in three Ashes series, it’s not overstepped the line once when I’ve been around,” he added.
Got to figure out ways to keep Steve Smith quiet: Chris Woakes
England bowlers will face their old nemesis Steve Smith, someone who has toyed with them in the last two Ashes series.
Smith tormented the England bowlers in back to back Ashes series and was the highest run-scorer in both the series with 687 (2017/18) and 774 (2019).
Woakes said they would have to come up with some strong plans against the Australian swashbuckling batter.
“I’ve bowled at Steve quite a lot. He’s a world-class player and had a lot of success against us as an England team,” Woakes said.
“We’ve got to figure out ways to keep him quiet because, relatively speaking, when he does well Australia does well.
“I feel I have got him a few times but he’s probably been on 150 at the time! It would be nice to get him a little bit earlier and we need some good plans against him,” he added.
Woakes has picked 119 Test wickets from 39 games, with his best figures 6/17 coming up against Ireland.