DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 25: Chris Woakes of England looks on during England nets and training session at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on December 25, 2015 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

English all-rounder Chris Woakes has gone against a contemporary trend that has seen world-star cricketers opt for lucrative domestic contracts instead of plying their trade at the international level.

T20 tournaments like the IPL have drawn key players away from the longer form and even international duties with big-money contracts on offer.

For Woakes, however, a spot under Brendon McCullum in the England Test team is just as enticing, with the 33-year-old right-hand batsman continuing to press his case for a recall into the in-form XI.

With England on the verge of claiming a series whitewash over Pakistan, requiring just 55 runs at Karachi, Woakes remains back at home and rebuilding his fitness levels following a successful T20 World Cup campaign.

With the Ashes around the corner as 2023 nears, the veteran paceman is prioritising his prospects of returning to England's red-ball setup, deciding against an IPL move this week.

Speaking to ESPN, Woakes detailed the reasoning behind his decision to pick the international red-ball format over a "very rewarding" contract in the IPL, not wanting the financial aspect to be the difference in his thinking.

"It wasn't an easy decision, by any means," Woakes said.

England's paceman Chris Woakes (L) celebrates dismissing Australia's batsman Steve Smith on the third day of the second Ashes cricket Test match in Adelaide in December 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / William WEST / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

"There's still a part of me that wishes I could go because the IPL is a great tournament and financially it could be very rewarding - but I didn't want to make the decision solely on finance. It's a tricky scenario: having just won a World Cup, potentially stock could be high. There are obviously some other players who are likely to go big but I could have been next on the list behind them.

"I had conversations with a lot of people and some with franchises as well, who sounded keen, which made it harder to pull out. But having not played any cricket in the English summer last year, it's a good opportunity for me to set myself up for, hopefully, a really strong summer with England.

"It's an Ashes year and I haven't played much red-ball cricket. I need to suggest to people and remind people that I can play red-ball cricket and get through it - both from a fitness point of view, but also to show what I can do to try and have a go at being part of the Ashes."

While teammates Ben Stokes and Sam Curran are sure to have increased interest ahead of the new IPL season, Woakes will work on his red-ball game with County outfit Warwickshire.

An opportunity that doesn't arise often for international players amid a busy schedule across all formats, Woakes is keen to represent his County in the coming months before Australia arrive in the UK in hope of retaining the Ashes.

"The IPL is hard to turn down because the best players go there, it's financially rewarding and it's been brilliant for my career," Woakes said.

"But the trade-off is that opportunity to play for Warwickshire, which I've always loved doing. It's tricky as an international player, particularly with the current schedule, and more so as a bowler you don't get the opportunity to come back and play much for your county.

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"I don't blame members and fans for giving myself and many other players a bit of stick for not playing for their counties enough, but the schedule means it is just so hard to do now. I love playing for Warwickshire and I'd love to play more, it's just almost impossible. It'll be a good time to put the Bear back on and hopefully put in some early performances and get myself in the reckoning for the Ashes."

The 2023 Ashes series will commence on June 16 next year, with the first Test to be held at Edgbaston. England last claimed a series win over Australia in 2015 with a 3-2 record on home turf.