"Nice to have some form of normality back", Chris Woakes glad to resume training

Chris Woakes and 17 other England bowlers restarted individual, bio-secure training.

Chris Woakes | GettyAmong 18 England bowlers selected to restart individual training by the ECB at seven different grounds amid the COVID-19 pandemic, pacer Chris Woakes was glad to go through the delivery stride and other drills at his home ground in Edgbaston. 

Woakes had an hour-long training stint as part of the build-up towards cricket's possible bio-secure resumption in July, where the Test series against West Indies could be rescheduled. 

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"It's what we know, it's what we do," Woakes was quoted as saying after a conference call on Friday (May 22). "Obviously it's the job, so it was nice to have some form of normality going back to some training."

Woakes' training session had a physiotherapist in attendance, he wasn't allowed to use changing rooms and work with only a set of balls. 

"It looks a lot different to what we're used to," said the 31-year-old, who has played 33 Tests and 101 ODIs for England. 

"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."

"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," Woakes added. 

The ECB is hoping for travelling restrictions to be eased in the coming weeks and be able to host West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland in an already curtailed summer. Those series are important to the board's financial well-being, with chief executive Tom Harrison saying cancellation could cost his organisation £380 million ($463 million).

"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," said Woakes. 

"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."

"I think for everyone it'll be a bit of a boost, and obviously it'll be a boost for the game."

Batsmen and wicketkeepers are also set to return to training from June 1. 

(Inputs from AFP)


By Kashish Chadha - 23 May, 2020

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