Chris Woakes can’t wait to tread the “perfect stage” on Saturday as part of Warwickshire’s team again Surrey in the Royal London Cup final at Lord’s. The all-rounder returns to Bears duty on the back of a brilliant summer, with bat and ball, for England which has seen him widely hailed as the national team’s player of the season. And now the 27-year-old is determined to cap his resounding campaign for his country by helping his county to round off their white-ball season in the best way – with a trophy.
As players it’s all about winning trophies which is really rewarding because, to do that, you have to play well over a sustained period of time.Chris Woakes
“It’s a really exciting prospect,” said Birmingham-born Woakes. “A Lord’s final is always a great occasion with all the history and tradition and it would be brilliant to cap the season with a trophy for the Bears.
“As players it’s all about winning trophies which is really rewarding because, to do that, you have to play well over a sustained period of time. You’ve got to do it on the day of the final, of course, but to get there at all means you have consistently played well under pressure.
“The guys have done really well to get us to Lord’s and played some great cricket along the way so now let’s try to finish the job. It’s the perfect stage and I want to play my part.
“This season has gone well for me and it’s fantastic to be part of this England side. The guys have raised the bar, but then standards are rising all over the world with 50-over cricket almost, in some cases, becoming like an extended Twenty20. It is all set up for a brilliant day at Lord’s on Saturday.”
Jason is a big player for them and if we can get him early that would be great, but they have got a lot of threatsChris Woakes
Woakes will have big part to play for the Bears as a potentially destructive middle-order batsmen and, most crucially, a wicket-hunting opening bowler.This final has a plethora of fascinating sub-plots – not least Woakes’s duel with England team-mate Jason Roy who will be at the top of a Surrey batting order bristling with talent including the great Kumar Sangakkara.
“Jason is a big player for them and if we can get him early that would be great, but they have got a lot of threats,” Woakes said. “We will have a chat about them all and come up with some plans.
“Sanga is a world-class player who can do a lot of damage if it gets in and bats through the middle overs. And he’s an ex-Bear just to add a bit of spice.
“But Surrey will know that we have got a lot of top players too. The guys have really showed their class in the last three games in this competition when it really mattered and if we do that again on Saturday we’ve got a real chance.”