England pacer Chris Woakes says it would have been extremely hard to play in three back-to-back tournaments so he chose the T20 World Cup and the Ashes series over the Indian Premier League.

Woakes, who plays for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, pulled out of the T20 league that had to be called off midway through the season in May due to Covid-19 outbreaks in a few teams, along with compatriots Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings).

“My inclusion in the World Cup squad, I didn’t know was going to happen – especially a couple of months ago. The IPL has been rescheduled and thrown on to the end of our summer,” Woakes was quoted as saying by ‘The Guardian’.

“With the World Cup and the Ashes, it would have been too much in a short space of time. I would have loved to have been part of the IPL but something has to give,” Woakes, who will play for Warwickshire this week, said.

Woakes said the T20 World Cup, set to begin in the UAE and Oman after the conclusion of the IPL, and the Ashes series assume significance which is no less than England’s summer of 2019.

“A World Cup and an Ashes tour, it’s almost as big a winter as our summer was in 2019. It’s a shame with what’s going on Covid-wise that it’s not going to be as normal as everyone would like. But, from a cricket perspective, it’s very exciting.”

Woakes has shown keen interest in travelling to Australia for the Ashes when a lot of British players are unsure of going Down Under due to expected stringent restrictions.

It is expected that Australia will not allow players with their families on the Tour.