Bears and England all-rounder Chris Woakes spoke to the media ahead of England's opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Chris Woakes on quarantine…
“I’ve had no symptoms for myself thankfully. Once I started self-isolating you do start to worry because you don’t know down the line at what point those symptoms are about to start. Every time I woke up in the morning I was double-checking myself to make sure I didn’t have any symptoms and thankfully I haven’t had any. Obviously, I’ve had four negative tests in the last week. It’s become the norm now, but not having four tests a week would be ideal to be honest.”
“It was a tricky seven days. People are quarantining all around the world at the minute – I don’t know how the guys did it going to Australia and doing 14 days – but it’s good to be back amongst the group and obviously good to be back out on the training field, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, which is what I’m here for.”
Chris Woakes on pushing for a place in Galle…
“I only had my first bowl yesterday, when the guys have been bowling for nearly a week before I have. Which obviously frustrates my side of things. It puts me back a little bit and the chances of me playing are probably quite slim. I was certainly a little bit sore this morning but today’s session was much better and I felt better for it. So I’m getting there but probably need a little bit more in the tank.
“We haven’t played much cricket leading into this either, so it would be a potential injury risk, definitely more so in these conditions. It is hot, it is sweaty and it does take a little bit of time to get used to that. I suppose the only bonus we do have is in conditions like this we don’t bowl as much as fast bowlers – generally short spells – and I have that on my side a little bit.
“I was turning up on tour hoping to push for a place in the starting XI. Whether that happened was obviously out of my control but with no Stokesy here, it emphasises that all-rounder role which myself or Sam Curran could fill to balance the team, and I was looking forward to trying to push my case.
“I am still obviously looking to do that. Whether this week comes too soon, that’s probably likely, but going forward I can hopefully force my way in. It’s a little frustrating that I can’t do that for this Test, but I have got my head round the situation.”
Chris Woakes on lockdown…
“We’re here to play cricket. Don’t get me wrong, there are times you start thinking ‘is this is a bit over the top?’ but everyone is going through the same: we’re all learning day by day. And the most important thing is we’re getting the opportunity to play cricket.
“I think it is worth it, I think we’ve got no other choice at the moment as well. We’re very fortunate at the fact use can still travel and play international sport. There are lot of people desperate to see sport so we’re part of that entertainment business and we’ve got a job to do.”
Chris Woakes on Galle…
“It’s a lovely ground isn’t it? I was here on the last tour when we won 3-0, and I remember the Barmy Army travelled in high numbers. It’s a great place to play as an England cricketer because you get great support, the ground’s packed, there’s people sat on top of the fort and it’s just very picturesque.
“It’s going to look a lot different this week with no one around and no crowd, which is a shame. But we know everyone will be supporting us from back home, which is great.”