England all-rounder Chris Woakes has been ruled out of the entire duration of the ICC Champions Trophy after suffering a side strain in the tournament opener in which England beat Bangladesh. During the match, Woakes was only able to bowl two overs before being taken off the field. Woakes did not return to bowl and further scans have now revealed that the injury is serious enough which will lead him to miss the rest of the tournament.
The all-rounder headed into the tournament with questions over his fitness. After a busy schedule which included a long and strenuous season of the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders. He was rested for England’s final two ODI games against South Africa as he was suffering from a tight quad. England were also accused of rushing Woakes into the tournament, but captain Eoin Morgan rejected the claims. Morgan said, “He was chomping at the bit to play. If we rushed him, he might have played the last game of the [South Africa] one-day series but we didn’t want to rush him.”
Woakes’ absence will be a huge blow for England in the tournament as he has become their key all-rounder over the past couple of years. He has performed admirably well as a strike bowler for them, while also contributing some handy runs lower down the order.
England have not yet named a replacement for him but early rumours indicate that Steven Finn is likely to get the nod.