Four men hit twin centuries this week in either the LV= County Championship or Clydesdale Bank 40, making it a tough decision to separate them and choose a batsman as the Cricket World County Player of the Week. There has, however, been one outstanding bowler this week. Chris Woakes took 10 wickets and top-scored in both of Warwickshire’s innings in their championship defeat to Hampshire; and rounded it off nicely by being named in England’s ODI squad for the trip to Ireland; to take the award.
His career-best seven for 20 helped bowl Hampshire out for just 141 in their first innings and he then hit 64 from number eight to haul his side up to 250 when they batted. Unfortunately for Warwickshire, he couldn’t prevent the visitors from racking up 416 second time around - although he did take three wickets to complete ten in the match – and then, despite top-scoring with a determined 23 not out in their pursuit of 308, he saw his side slump to a 209-run defeat. He was soon boosted, however, by a call-up to England’s young squad for their one-off international against Ireland and will be hoping to play in what would be his fourth ODI.
Woakes was born in Birmingham in 1989 and first represented Warwickshire at Under-15 level in 2004 before progressing to Under-17 and academy honours the year after. He made his second eleven debut in 2005 and played for Herefordshire in the Minor Counties Championship in 2006 prior to his first team debut against West Indies A at the end of that year aged just 17. Most of 2007 was then spent playing in the county second eleven, although he was rewarded with a call-up to the England Under-19 side at the end of that summer, and has he never really looked back since.
He established himself in Warwickshire’s first team in all forms of the game in 2008 and topped their first-class bowling averages. His next honour was being chosen to represent the MCC in the prestigious Champion County fixture at the start of 2009, followed by the issuing of his county cap, and in 2010 he was named in England’s preliminary squad for the World Twenty20. A spate of injuries in Australia last winter resulted in a maiden call-up to the full England ODI side, during which he played three matches and took six wickets at Brisbane. His batting has improved immeasurably over the last couple of seasons and if he can add a yard of pace with the ball, he will prove himself to be a more than capable all-rounder at the highest level.
This week’s four centurions, and aforementioned contenders for this week’s award, were James Taylor (111 against Sri Lanka A and 127 not out against Glamorgan); Michael Yardy (130 and 122 against Yorkshire); Jacques Rudolph (120 and 132 not out against Sussex); and Jason Roy (101 against Warwickshire and 131 against Leicestershire).
© Cricket World 2011