Warwickshire news April 14, 2009

Donald tips Woakes as future star

Cricinfo staff

Allan Donald, the Warwickshire bowling coach and former South Africa fast bowler, has tipped 20-year-old seamer Chris Woakes to make the England national team in the future.

Woakes was picked in England's 30-man preliminary squad for the World Twenty20 in June after a successful first full season in 2008. His 42 wickets at 20.57 apiece were pivotal to Warwickshire gaining promotion from Division Two. "There is no question that he will play for England at some stage," Donald said. "When that is, I don't know."

Donald said he was keen to see how Woakes responded to two new challenges this season: playing against opposition of a higher calibre in the first division, and dealing with the extra pressure after being named in the provisional squad.

"There is always that 'second-season syndrome' and now all of a sudden it's not Division Two, it's Division One. There are some quality teams with some quality cricketers out there."

Woakes' first match of the season was when he turned out for MCC against Durham, and his next game will be the Championship game against Somerset in Taunton starting Wednesday.

"Our first game is against a serious team with quality players like Justin Langer and Marcus Trescothick. No doubt they will take the test to him but my job is to look after him mentally and make sure he doesn't stray off the right road.

"As a young cricketer your name gets thrown about in the press and that will happen even more now he is in the 30-man England squad. It will be interesting to see how he handles it now his name is out there and England colours are beckoning."