'Hopefully I've extended my career with England' - Woakes on withdrawing from IPL
Chris Woakes has cited the packed international schedule as the main reason for withdrawing from the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.
Woakes fetched a lucrative sum of INR 1.5 crores at the IPL auction last year with the all-rounder joining the Delhi Capitals squad.
However, he announced his decision to pull out of the T20 tournament in a bid to prolong his career with the England team across formats.
"Hopefully I've extended my career rather than trying to spread it across all three formats," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Woakes is currently a part of England's squad for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka, set to commence in Galle on March 19.
He was a member of England's contingent for the tours of New Zealand and South Africa over the winter and was a vital cog of the lineup that featured in the Ashes and the World Cup during the summer.
"I want to play for England as long as possible - that's still the pinnacle for me," he added.
"I just feel like I'd been on a bit of a treadmill and I needed to get off for a bit of a breather. From a mental point of view, it's about recharging those batteries."
Woakes has previously represented donned the jersey of Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
"The IPL is great but I've been there and done it. That's not to say I don't want to do it again but at this moment England is the most important thing to me, as well as spending time at home with the family where I can," he stated.
"You don't put yourself into these things intending to pull out. I went into the IPL auction hoping that I would get picked up, it's a great experience. But it's impossible to do everything.
"International cricket can be draining at the best of times because there's so much pressure on you to perform. There's always people knocking on the door and to stay on top of your game all year round is hard.
"The schedule has just got busier and busier - the only breaks you really get in international cricket are at IPL time."
With the T20 World Cup planned in October this year, Woakes admitted his absence in the IPL would hurt his prospects of securing a spot in the national side for the showpiece event in Australia.
Having last played a T20I five years ago, the right-arm seamer will not be in the mix for a T20 World Cup appearance now.
"If I felt like I had a real good opportunity to be in that T20 squad I'd probably still go to the IPL and try to produce some good form."
"[The selectors] know what I'm about and what I can do but realistically it'd probably take a few injuries for me to be in contention."