Birmingham bowler Chris Woakes to spend time with daughters and follow Aston Villa during time off

Chris Woakes celebrates after winning during day four of the third LV= Insurance Ashes Series test match at Headingley, Leeds. Picture date: Sunday July 9, 2023. Credit: PA
  • Blog by ITV Central sports correspondent Dan Salisbury-Jones

England's Ashes hero Chris Woakes is taking his mind off the fourth test match against Australia by spending time with his daughters and following Aston Villa's transfer deals.

The Birmingham bowler, who scored the winning runs in the third test at Headingley, spoke to ITV Central after a recovery session at Edgbaston.

He said: "To finally get over the line and win test matches is what you play for. So to actually hit the winning runs and get over the line you just feel pure relief really."

Last year the 34-year-old was suffering from a knee injury and it genuinely looked like he might have played his last game for England.

"There has been moments particularly last summer when I wasn't around the team, I had a knee injury which kept me out of all cricket.

"You kind of do wonder whether that ship has sailed, so to speak. But yeah, just delighted to have to get an opportunity and, you know, and really thankfully contribute to an amazing test.

"I think the tough times make you realise how hard those moments can be, it makes it all that more sweet when you come through those periods.

"Obviously you'd rather not go through the tough times, but it certainly makes it worth it."

He's using his time before next Thursday's test to recover at home in Birmingham and it's given him plenty of distractions.

Chris Woakes celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia during day three of the Insurance Ashes Series test match at Headingley. Credit: PA

"I've got two young daughters who are pretty much none the wiser.

"So back to duties they certainly keep you grounded. But, you know, it's great to just get back home, do that.

"The usual things that every everyone does and have a little bit of decompression time, I suppose, just to try and get away from it before obviously what's going to be a really big, big week next week against the Aussies again in the fourth test."

As an avid fan of Aston Villa he's also following the twists and turns of their transfer dealings.

"Hopefully there's a bit more business to be done there," he said.

"Be nice to obviously bring in some more signings, but exciting, exciting season ahead for Villa as well.

I end by reflecting how great things are looking for both him and Villa. With a smile he said: "Yeah, it's going well. Hopefully it can continue."

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