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Woakes tipped to shine in CB40

Yorkshire Bank

Alfonso Thomas, Chris Woakes & Ant Botha

Chris Woakes, centre, jumps for joy after hitting the winning runs for Warwickshire in last year's Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord's

The Clydesdale Bank 40 begins on Sunday and cricket fans have selected Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes as the one to watch throughout the competition.

Woakes, 22, hit the winning runs in last year’s final at Lord’s, helping Warwickshire defeat Somerset by three wickets. Since then he has made his debut for England against Australia, recording a six-wicket haul in only his second ODI, and continued to impress when playing for England Lions during a tour of the West Indies.

The all-rounder has been in a rich vein of form at the start of the 2011 domestic season with a run-a-ball 129 against Somerset in the LV= County Championship and figures of 6-85 and 3-16 in the same match.

Over 40 players were nominated by fans on the Official TwelfthMan Facebook page www.facebook.com/englandcricket and alongside Woakes five other players proved popular choices:

James Hildreth (Somerset)
Rory Hamilton-Brown (Surrey)
Ryan ten Doeschate (Essex)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Steven Davies (Surrey)

Warwickshire begin the defence of their title on Sunday with a trip to the Rose Bowl to take on Hampshire and the Bears will be hoping for a strong start.

Warwickshire director of cricket Ashley Giles said: "We look back on the final with great pride and it brings a smile to all our faces. It's always great to play at Lord's and to win a showpiece final there is great for any side.

“After quite a tough season we thought it was just reward for all the hard work we put in. It was an amazing evening. After the pressures of the whole season, every coach with any county would love winning a trophy.

"We beat Hampshire down there last year and they thrashed us up here. They got a big score and surprised us with their batting power. It's a big start for us. If we can replicate what we have done in pre-season then I'll be quite happy."

Twenty-one teams have been drawn into three groups and will play each other home and away with the winners of each group and the runner-up with the highest points total qualifying for the semi-finals.

The Clydesdale Bank 40 final will take place on Saturday 17 September at Lord’s and will round off the 2011 domestic season. For more information visit www.ecb.co.uk/ClydesdaleBank40

Opening fixtures:

Sunday 24 April

13:45 Worcestershire Royals vs Middlesex Panthers
13:45 Durham Dynamos vs Scotland
13:45 Northants Steelbacks vs Leicestershire Foxes
13:45 Hampshire Royals vs Warwickshire Bears
13:45 Notts Outlaws vs Somerset
13:45 Gloucestershire Gladiators vs Glamorgan Dragons
13:45 Yorkshire Carnegie vs Netherlands

Monday 25 April

13:45 Leicestershire Foxes vs Scotland
12:00 Derbyshire Falcons vs Netherlands