Warwickshire cricket hero receives honorary degree from the University of Birmingham

County and England cricketer Chris Woakes has been awarded an honorary degree in the University of Birmingham’s December degree congregation.

Professor Robin Mason, Chris Woakes, and Professor Jeremy Pritchard

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), Chris Woakes, and Jeremy Pritchard, Professor of Life Sciences Education

Born in Birmingham, Chris was recruited to play for Warwickshire Under 15 and Under 17 teams. He was a mainstay of the senior men’s team from 2008, putting in solid performances for the side and playing numerous times in the County Championships, including the title winning side of 2021.

Chris made his international Twenty20 debut in 2011, playing against Australia and scoring the winning runs in the match. Over the next few years he played in high profile games around the world, playing in numerous One Day International series and making his World Cup debut in 2015. More recently, he was part of the England squad that won the Men’s 2019 Cricket World Cup, and the team that won this year’s Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Tickell said: “Sporting achievement has been central to our University community over the past 12 months, in particular as we played our part in hosting the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and as we now look forward to hosting the International Blind Sport Federation World Games in 2023.

“As this incredible year of sport draws to a close, we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Chris as an honorary graduate of the University of Birmingham – and hope his achievements continue to inspire both our university community and aspiring athletes around the world for a long time to come.”

Chris said he was ‘humbled’ to receive his Honorary Degree. Speaking to the congregation he said of his career: “Anything is possible when you have a resilience, you’re determined, and have a drive to constantly look for improvements….What makes the greatest players stand out from the rest is their desire to get better even when you think that’s not possible. In my eyes, everyone can always get better.”

He added: “There will always be bumps in the road, but it’s how we overcome them that shapes us as individuals.”

Chris joins two other honorary graduates of the University this week, including National Grid Group Chief Engineer David Wright; and Matthew Hurn, an investment expert and University of Birmingham Dubai advisory board member.

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