Chris Woakes is relishing a reunion with former England head coach Trevor Bayliss after being snapped up by Punjab Kings at the Indian Premier League auction.
Woakes is on England duty in the West Indies so was tucked up in bed when he went under the hammer in Dubai, where the 34-year-old fetched a fraction under £400,000 (4.2 crore rupees) on Tuesday.
The player of the series in this summer’s drawn Ashes will have familiar company in the Kings dressing room next year, with Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow already retained by the franchise.
And linking up with Kings coach Bayliss is the cherry on top for Woakes, with the pair both instrumental in England’s white-ball transformation from also-rans to World Cup winners in 2019.
“It’s a nice feeling to wake up here in the Caribbean and see that I have been picked up by Punjab in the auction,” said the 34-year-old, who has not featured in the last two editions of the IPL.
“The IPL is obviously an amazing tournament to be a part of and we have a nice little contingent of England players in the squad with Jonny, Sam and Liam.
“It’ll be great to join up with Trevor Bayliss as well given the success I’ve had with him as a coach, so I can’t wait to get going.”
Harry Brook was another of England’s travelling contingent in the Caribbean to get picked up, signed for around £380,000 (4cr) by Delhi Capitals.
The fee is vastly reduced from the £1.3million he was paid by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2023 edition of the tournament, when he amassed one century but returned just 190 runs in his other 11 innings.
Nevertheless, Brook is relishing a return to the IPL and especially the chance to work with former Australia captain and now Capitals coach Ricky Ponting.
“Playing against the best players in the world is something I thrive off and the IPL is one of the biggest stages to play on,” said the Yorkshireman
“Delhi have some unbelievable players already and I can’t wait to work with Ricky Ponting and see if we can win a first title for the team.”