England all-rounder Chris Woakes has refused to blame his stint in the Indian Premier League for his Champions Trophy-ending injury.
Woakes was ruled out of the tournament after suffering a left side strain in the tournament-opener against Bangladesh on Thursday (June 1). He was bowling just his second over when he suffered the unfortunate injury and walked off the field after completing the over.
The hectic schedule of the Indian Premier League has always been a matter of debate among the cricketing fraternity, as the past seasons have witnessed several players suffering injuries in the due course of the tournament.
Moreover, the way Ben Stokes has struggled with the knee injury since returning from India after plying his trade for Rising Pune Supergiant, India’s premier T20 league is once again under the scanner. However, Woakes has downplayed all the suggestions and speculations that his injury was a result of playing in the IPL.
“When I came back from the IPL, my body felt as good as it can be. I felt in a good space physically and mentally, and I was confident too because I bowled well out there,” Woakes was quoted as saying by SkySports.
Woakes, who has emerged as one of England’s most reliable limited-overs bowlers over the last one year or so, has a pretty impressive debut season for the Kolkata Knight Riders where he took 17 wickets in 13 matches and playing an integral role in Kolkata’s journey to the last four stage.
“There were no signs of my side being tight or sore before the game yesterday, so it’s just one of those things and you have to take it on the chin,” he added.
Expressing his frustration over the injury, the all-rounder said:
“More than anything, it’s really frustrating. It’s a tough one to take, right at the start of a tournament which we have been building up to as a team for a while.
“We’ve had our eyes on the Champions Trophy for a while now as a team and we were coming into the tournament in good form. The toughest thing as a bowler is having to come off after only bowling a couple of overs.
“I finished two overs but it was probably on the third or fourth ball of the second over that it felt like something had become tight in my side,” he added.
Revealing how he felt while bowling the second over, Woakes added:
“I managed to finish the over but by the last ball, I knew that something really wasn’t right. To a certain extent, it felt like someone was sticking a knife in my side.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. It was then a matter of seeing how bad it would be on the scan results.”
Woakes’ injury, meanwhile, did not make much of a difference, as the hosts kick-started their campaign with an impressive victory over Bangladesh. Chasing 305, England rode on fine knocks from Alex Hales (95), Joe Root (133) and Eoin Morgan (75) to chase down the massive total with over two overs remaining.