Warwickshire have opened contract talks with England one-day international all-rounder Chris Woakes and Ireland pace bowler Boyd Rankin in an attempt to keep two of their most prized assets at Edgbaston.
Woakes and Rankin are out of contract at the end of next season and Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles is keen to sign them up on extensions well before the start of the season.
Under ECB regulations other counties will be able to start submitting formal 28-day notices for Woakes from April 1. Rankin’s situation is a little more complicated because he is contracted from January to January and, therefore, cannot be approached until the middle of next season.
But Giles hopes that approaches from other counties will not become an issue by signing up Woakes and Rankin on new deals early in the New Year.
“We don’t want to get into the situation where we go into next season with Chris and Boyd out of contract,” Giles said.
“We’ve already started talking to their agents about deals to keep them with Warwickshire and I’m hoping to get things sorted out with them sooner rather than later.”
Money is tight at Edgbaston at the moment and Giles’s decision to retain the services of two potential England Test players may explain why he did not enter into a bidding war with Nottinghamshire for a third, Leicestershire batsman James Taylor.
Taylor, who is set to leave Leicestershire for Trent Bridge with a year remaining on his contract, was keen on a move to Edgbaston but Warwickshire were unwilling to meet his wage demands which would have made him one of their highest-paid players.