Chris Woakes would welcome Alex Hales back into the England team if the explosive batsman is handed the chance to atone for his off-field mistakes.

The Nottinghamshire opener could be handed another opportunity in international cricket next week when England's selectors are expected to choose Test and limited-overs training groups.

Hales recently told the Daily Mail he hoped "people can forgive and forget" his previous errors, notably the incident before last year's World Cup when he was dumped from England's plans ahead of a tournament they famously won.

According to widespread reports, that Hales has not denied, he tested positive for a recreational drug and received a 21-day ban.

His management company said at the time that Hales had completed "certain rehabilitation measures" and was "devastated" to then lose his World Cup place.

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan spoke of a "complete breakdown of trust" as Hales, who has played 141 matches for his country, was dropped.

Yet Hales may not be finished as an England cricketer, with reports he and officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board have spoken recently about his future.

England all-rounder Woakes said of the prospect of a recall: "I don't know if it's 100 per cent the right decision. It's not for me to make that call. I'm a believer that people serve their time, so to speak.

"He's gone through a tough time with what he had to go through with being left out of the World Cup and then seeing that team go on to lift the trophy. That must have been difficult for him.

"It's not my call but I think Alex is a world-class player. I've played a lot of cricket with him over the years, from a very young age.

"In a way I felt sorry for him, but I understood the decision from the management, the captain and the rest of the team.

"I don't know 100 per cent what will happen but I'd be happy to see Alex back in England colours. I imagine the majority would have the view that I've just given, in terms of people do deserve a second chance. If they've gone away and worked on what they need to work on, I don't see why anyone would see it any differently."

Woakes is 31, like Hales, and he underlined how standards in the dressing room demand responsibility and accountability throughout the team.

"We've got a culture and an environment in the England squad that we all try to pull in the right direction and all try to do the best for the team," Woakes said.

"If Alex is willing to do that, I would imagine everyone would be happy to see him back playing for England again."

England all-rounder Chris Woakes savoured his first training stint for months but admitted his body was aching on Friday's "first waddle to the toilet".

The Warwickshire player had a spell in the nets at Edgbaston on Thursday, with professional cricket attempting to slowly get back up and running amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Woakes, 31, had to follow strict guidance on social distancing and admitted the experience "was a lot different" to a usual session.

"But with what everyone's been through, it was nice to get out there and get the ball back in hand really," he said.

"It's been two months since I last bowled. It was nice to be back in the middle, albeit a little different."

The 2019 World Cup winner admitted to feeling "a little bit sore this morning".

"The first waddle to the toilet was a bit interesting," Woakes said. "But it's okay, the body actually is not too bad.

"But having not bowled for two months there were a few things that were sore - sides certainly.

"I woke up this morning knowing I'd had a bowl yesterday, but it was nice to be out there."

It remains to be seen what cricket Woakes might have to play this summer, with England's planned home series against West Indies, Pakistan and Australia hinging on a variety of factors.

Those teams will want to be certain measures are in place that will safeguard the health of their touring parties.

"First and foremost, we just hope there's going to be some sort of cricket," Woakes said.

"That will be obviously very different but at the same time it'd be nice to have some cricket and some form of normality.

"Hopefully we can get some games - what that schedule will exactly look like we don't really know."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is hoping international series can be salvaged, with income from lucrative broadcast contracts providing a valuable backbone of the game.

Woakes added: "Obviously it would be a boost for the game. We've all seen the projections [saying] the ECB and the game in general could be in a bit of trouble if we weren't to play any cricket this summer, so hopefully we can get some form of schedule going."

Quinton de Kock led by example with a magnificent century at the start of his reign as South Africa ODI captain, setting up an emphatic seven-wicket win over world champions England at Newlands.

De Kock replaced Faf du Plessis as skipper in the 50-over format last month and could not have scripted a better beginning to a new era, inspiring the Proteas to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Tabraiz Shamsi took 3-38 as England were restricted to 258-8 after being put in by De Kock, Joe Denly making an ODI-best 87 and Chris Woakes 40 in a seventh-wicket stand of 91.

That was not enough for the tourists in their first ODI since winning the World Cup for the first time, with De Kock scoring an imperious 107 to become the joint-fifth fastest to 5,000 ODI runs.

Temba Bavuma fell for a classy 98 after putting on 173 for the second wicket with his new skipper before South Africa - beaten 3-1 by England in the Test series - completed the highest successful ODI run chase in Cape Town with 14 balls to spare.

England - without the rested Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler - looked destined to post a big total with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow going along nicely, but they lost their way after both openers fell in consecutive overs.

Roy (32) holed out to debutant JJ Smuts to end a stand of 51 before Bairstow (19) fell to Andile Phehlukwayo and Rassie van der Dussen ran out Joe Root with a magnificent piece of fielding.

Spinner Shamsi got rid of captain Eoin Morgan and ended Tom Banton's first ODI knock, then bowled Sam Curran around his legs to leave England reeling on 108-5.

Denly and Woakes halted the procession of wickets, rotating the strike well and driving handsomely as they took the tourists over 200.

A third ODI half-century - 11 years after his second - for Denly was registered off 72 balls and he struck the fit-again Lungi Ngidi for two sixes before falling to Beuran Hendricks in the final over, with Woakes having become Lutho Sipamla's first international victim.

Reeza Hendricks successfully reviewed after being given lbw to Woakes in the first over of the run chase, but the England all-rounder got his man caught behind for just six.

De Kock and Bavuma then made the England attack look ordinary in a magnificent partnership, driving majestically and sweeping with conviction to put the Proteas well on their way to victory.

A reverse sweep took De Kock to a half-century and he crunched Tom Curran for six with disdain before Bavuma dispatched a poor ball from debutant Matt Parkinson over the ropes.

De Kock passed 5,000 ODI runs and fittingly brought up a 15th ODI hundred with a stylish drive off spinner Parkinson, before he was cleaned up trying to hit Root out of the ground.

Bavuma missed out on a hundred when he was struck bang in front by Chris Jordan, but Van der Dussen made an unbeaten 35 as South Africa sealed victory at a canter.

Chris Woakes replaces Dom Bess in the only change to the England side after Jofra Archer was ruled out and Beuran Hendricks makes his South Africa Test debut in the final match of the series at the Wanderers.

Archer was pushing for a return in Johannesburg, but the paceman was troubled by his right elbow in the warm-up after the start was delayed due to rain on Friday.

The quick missed the tourists' victories at Newlands and St George's Park due to an elbow injury and will play no part as Joe Root's side, leading 2-1, attempt to complete a series win.

England have gone with an all-seam attack, Woakes making his first appearance of the series, Mark Wood retaining his place and spinner Bess missing out despite claiming a maiden five-wicket Test haul in Port Elizabeth.

Fast bowler Hendricks gets the nod to make his Test bow in the absence of the banned Kagiso Rabada, while batsman Temba Bavuma and Dwaine Pretorius replaces Zubayr Hamza and Keshav Maharaj respectively.

Root won the toss and elected to bat in Vernon Philander's final Test, with play due to start at 1.20pm local time. 

 

South Africa: Malan, Elgar, van der Dussen, du Plessis (captain), de Kock (wk) Bavuma, Pretorius, Philander, Nortje, Paterson, Hendricks.

England: Crawley, Sibley, Denly, Root (captain), Stokes, Pope, Buttler (wk), Curran, Woakes, Wood, Broad.

 

 

Chris Woakes fears England may not be able to call upon Ben Stokes to bowl in the remainder of the second Test against New Zealand but hopes to have the "world class" all-rounder at "full tilt".

Stokes complained of an issue with his left knee, on which he had surgery in 2016 and has continued to be troubled by, after completing his second over in Hamilton on day one.

Tom Latham was unbeaten on 101 and the Black Caps – who lead the two-Test series 1-0 – were 173-3 when rain brought an early end to play after tea.

Stokes will reportedly undergo an assessment to determine whether he will be fit to bowl again in the match.

"Ben's overs are not just a bonus, he's a world-class bowler when he's at his best. Of course we'll move his overs, whether he can bowl or not I don't know," said the recalled Woakes, who claimed the big scalps of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.

"He's obviously got a bit of pain in that left knee, I don't know exactly what it is but of course we want a Ben Stokes at full tilt if we can because he's world class.

"Ben is one of the hardest trainers and works hard on his fitness and everything. Hopefully we can get that right. The medical team will be working really hard to do that.

"There's a bit of a gap between the end of this Test match and the start of the South Africa one so hopefully [they can] get him as close to 100 per cent as possible."

Latham made the most of a reprieve on 66, having been put down by a diving Stokes in the slips, to register a fifth hundred in his past 10 Test innings.

"Ben, in particular, is probably the hardest trainer I've ever seen, particularly when it comes to his fielding and his catching," Woakes said.

"It's just the way it goes. Unfortunately we've put a couple down and it's hurt us, hopefully this one won't hurt us quite as badly as the last one did."

Tom Latham drove New Zealand with an unbeaten century before rain halted proceedings on day one of the second and final Test against England.

Latham posted 101 by tea to have the Black Caps 173-3 when the rain hit Hamilton and ended play prematurely on Friday.

Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes had New Zealand 39-2 after claiming the scalps of Jeet Raval (5) and captain Kane Williamson (4).

But Latham, with some help from Ross Taylor (53), helped steady the ship as New Zealand look to seal a series win over touring England.

Reeling after a humbling to the Black Caps in the series opener – beaten by an innings and 65 runs in Mount Maunganui – England handed a debut to Zak Crawley in place of the injured Jos Buttler.

Woakes (2-41) was also called up at the expense of Jack Leach and it appeared to be an inspired change after England won the toss and bowled first.

After Broad (1-33) sent Raval back to the pavilion in the seventh over, Woakes justified his selection with two wickets against New Zealand.

Williamson's stay at the crease was also brief after giving Joe Root his second catch of the morning off an angling Woakes delivery.

Latham stepped up and Taylor's arrival helped upped the ante for New Zealand – the latter bringing up a 99-ball fifty before Woakes struck the very next delivery prior to tea.

But Latham continued on, celebrating his 11th Test ton and fifth in his last 10 innings to put the Black Caps in a strong position before the weather wreaked havoc late in the afternoon.

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