Chris Woakes was relieved to finally hear the ‘Edgbaston roar’ in a Birmingham Phoenix jersey.
The England international all-rounder, who missed both the 2021 and 2022 editions of the tournament, unsurprisingly impressed taking a wicket and conceding just 21 runs in 20 balls.
It had been a long time coming for the Compton-Miller Medal winner after shining as England’s leading man of this summer’s Ashes. International selection and injuries had put a Phoenix debut on hold, but the 34-year-old admits he was desperate to wear the orange and black in the place he calls home.
“I’m really happy and it’s pleasing to get a team win on the board,” said Woakes after their 41-run win over Welsh Fire. “It’s been a tricky start so far for us with the two washouts and not getting over the line in the others, but it was a really important win in front of our fans. It’s been a long time coming to represent the Phoenix.
“It felt nice to get that wicket in front of the crowd. Klaasen has been a dangerous player of late so it’s nice to get good players out. It was great to hear the Edgbaston roar, it’s good to be back out there.
“We always appreciate the fan’s support and It was very loud out there, which is always good to hear. There were plenty of kids out there too, having a great time and thankfully we put on a show. Hopefully, it’s the same against Spirit next week.”
Before the final home game, Phoenix head on the road to face Southern Brave (Wednesday) and Trent Rockets (Saturday).
Sunday’s victory has put Dan Vettori’s side one point behind second, setting up an appetising final stretch of the campaign.
“It’s exciting now as this format can be very hit or miss,” Woakes added. “If you can get on a roll and gain momentum it can start to go in your favour.
“We’ll go to Southampton and try to put in another performance against Southern Brave, but it’ll be tricky on the road. We know we’ve got the squad to win games in this format and hopefully, a few more will come.”
Phoenix are back at Edgbaston on Thursday 24 August to face London Spirit in the final group game of this summer’s edition of The Hundred. Tickets are available from only £18 which under 16s £5.
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