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Contract rows won't hit England: Woakes

Press Association logoPress Association 17/05/2017 David Clough

Chris Woakes sees little reason to fear English cricket may encounter a breakdown in contract negotiations like that is currently afflicting Australia.

There is no prospect, according to the England all-rounder, that any similar strife may be in store for Joe Root's side.

Woakes reports reassuring relations between the England and Wales Cricket Board and Professional Cricketers' Association, and consensus among players that all is well.

That appears to be far from the case in Australia, where Test vice-captain David Warner upped the stakes in the stand-off between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association by hinting he and his team-mates may consider withdrawing their services before the Ashes later this year.

Woakes' England team-mate Gareth Batty has joined the debate too, suggesting a "breaking point" may be in the offing as players begin to realise the extra revenue set to be generated by the ECB's new city-based Twenty20 tournament.

However, there are no such pressing concerns for Woakes.

Asked about the possibility of repercussions of Australian disquiet for English players, he said: "It's not on our radar - we are paid very well and looked after by the ECB and the PCA.

"What lies ahead lies ahead, and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Woakes was barely home from a successful maiden Indian Premier League campaign with Kolkata Knight Riders before boarding another plane on Tuesday to join up with his international colleagues on England's pre-Champions Trophy training camp in Spain.

Speaking from there, he confirmed England are keeping an eye on events in Australia but focusing primarily on preparation for their challenge next month for a first 50-over global trophy in this country's history.

"It sounds like the players are standing firm for what they believe in," Woakes said.

"If it gets to the stage where the Ashes are under threat, of course it would be a shame for it to not go ahead.

"It's the pinnacle ... but we are concentrating on what comes next."

Warner also mused publicly over whether the advent of lucrative and high-profile Twenty20 leagues around the world may mean the best players are no longer beholden to their home boards and international competition.

Woakes was among eight England-qualified cricketers who joined the IPL this year with the ECB's blessing.

He insists he has derived great benefit over the past month, while he might otherwise have been in action for Warwickshire and in two one-day internationals against Ireland, but he still puts playing for England at the top of his list.

He said: "You want to do both ... (but) the be-all and end-all is playing for your country."

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