Chris Woakes couldn't hide his delight at not only returning to the slueth, but taking wickets too.

Having starred in the Championship title winning victory over Somerset in September 2021, it took another 566 days to put on the Bear and Ragged Staff.

Frustrated by a knee injury that resulted in surgery, Woakesy missed the domestic summer, before taking centre stage in England’s T20 World Cup win. Another T20 series in Bangladesh followed in March, giving the Aston Manor CC product the thumbs up ahead of an Ashes summer.

Fully fit, and desperate to impress the Warwickshire Members, the 34-year-old didn’t miss a beat taking five wickets across two innings as the Bears defeated Kent by an innings and 14 runs.

“I’d rather it had been won a little bit easier than that, but it was an amazing win with such a dramatic last day,” said Woakes. “Making them follow on is never easy, but credit to the bowlers for putting in such hard yards and getting 20 wickets which is an amazing achievement.

“It’s always a relief to get that first wicket of the season and you always want to contribute to a team effort of getting the team to a win. It was great to be back out there wearing the Bear as I love playing for Warwickshire. I missed a lot of cricket last summer and I’m ready to be fit and ready for the majority this season.”

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