Chris Woakes: England bowler pulls out of IPL stint with Delhi Capitals

Chris Woakes
Woakes was a member of England's 2019 World Cup winning squad

England bowler Chris Woakes has pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League to focus on international cricket.

Woakes, who is currently in Sri Lanka with England's Test squad, was due to play for Delhi Capitals in the Twenty20 tournament, which starts on 29 March.

The Warwickshire player will instead return to Birmingham after England's two-Test tour of Sri Lanka.

"I want to play for England as long as possible," said Woakes, 31.

"That's still the pinnacle for me."

Woakes has played 33 Tests, including three of England's six Tests over the winter, and was a member of the World Cup-winning squad last summer.

He was signed for £160,000 by Delhi Capitals at auction, having previously played in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"I just feel like I'd been on a bit of a treadmill and I needed to get off for a bit of a breather," he added.

"From a mental point of view it's about recharging those batteries.

"The IPL is great but I've been there and done it. That's not to say I don't want to do it again but at this moment England is the most important thing to me, as well as spending time at home with the family where I can.

"The schedule has just got busier and busier - the only breaks you really get in international cricket are at IPL time."

England begin the first of two Tests against Sri Lanka on 19 March.

Later this year, England start a three-match Test series against West Indies on 4 June, play Australia in three T20s and three one-day internationals, meet Pakistan in three Tests and three ODIs and play a three-match ODI series against Ireland.

England play in the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November but Woakes has not played a T20 for England since 2015.

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