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Hello, Bears fans. I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

Well, back there in Birmingham and here in India, at last we are all underway. While the Bears are getting stuck into their first championship game (and it was great to see that they had a strong opening day against Derbyshire) out here the IPL started today.

It’s fantastic to be here as part of the Delhi Capitals squad and we all can’t wait to start the campaign against Chennai Super Kings tomorrow.

It’s a shame that, just as back at Edgbaston, there will be no spectators, but it is still brilliant just to be back playing cricket. I think, after all that’s happened, it’s just like Christmas Day for us all to be playing cricket again, whether in Birmingham or Mumbai.

I have had four or five training sessions since coming out of quarantine now and am feeling good. It’s fantastic to be among all the top-class players in the Capitals squad and to be working under Ricky Ponting. He has the same aura about him as a coach as he had a player and is really impressive. He knows that, when you have played a fair bit of international cricket, you know your game pretty well, so it’s all about what we need now and preparing for the games and challenges we are facing next.

Chris Woakes

There is so much quality in the Capitals squad, so let’s see how far we can go. I just want to contribute as much as I can and learn as much as I can from being among such a high-class group. It’s nice also to have a couple of other England guys – Tom Curran and Sam Billings – in the squad. It’s always nice to have mates around.

The restrictions out here are still very tight. We remain in the bubble and it is very much hotel, ground, hotel, ground. We have a couple of floors at the hotel that we have to stay in. It’s not ideal, but this is the world we live at the moment and we all knew the situation when we signed up for the IPL this year. We are being very well looked after and it’s still just really exciting to be part of such an amazing tournament.

It all gets underway for us tomorrow and, of course, I’ll also be keeping a close eye on the Bears’ fortunes. Hopefully they can build on their strong opening day against Derbyshire and start with a win. It was good to read in Brian Halford’s report on the Bears website that Liam Norwell had started well with a five-for. And some brilliant slip catches were taken – that’s a really good effort when you are fielding in five degrees!

I’ll be back in touch next week with hopefully wins for the Capitals and the Bears to reflect upon. Until then, stay safe.

Come On You Bears

Woakesy

Download the latest edition of the Bears PodBlast for a special edition episode with Chris Woakes.

£15 Early Bird tickets on sale for T20 games

Early Bird tickets are now on sale for Birmingham Bears home games at Edgbaston this summer, available from only £15. But be quick, prices will rise from midnight on Friday 14 May.

Under-16s go FREE to all matches.

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