England all-rounder Chris Woakes has been ruled out the first match of Warwickshire’s title defence with fatigue.
County Championship Division One champions Warwickshire will have to begin their title defence against Derbyshire on Wednesday without England international Chris Woakes.
Woakes has been ruled out of the season opener by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with fatigue.
The batsman had been expected to play the first few matches for his county this season before returning to the Three Lions setup, but now looks to spend at least the first week on the sidelines.
The all-rounder has been away with England all winter although has failed to cement a place in any of the three sides and was used only as a substitute fielder in the three-Test series against New Zealand.
The absence of Woakes means that youngster Tom Milnes should get an opportunity to feature for Warwickshire, after he impressed in the county’s warm-up match against Oxford University at the weekend.
“I would like to think I did okay when I got my chance in the championship last season so now it’s up to me to seize my opportunities that come along this year,” Milnes said on Sky Sports.
“Warwickshire have the best seam attack in the country but the guys are all involved in the England set-up so hopefully I will get some opportunities.”
The 20-year-old played in six first-class matches for his club last year, scoring 118 runs and taking 18 wickets as the Bears marched on towards the Division One title.
Milnes may feature alongside new signing Oliver Hannon-Dalby as Derbyshire go up against one of the most formidable seam attacks in county cricket.