LONDON: Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has been appointed new captain of the England Men’s Test team, succeeding Joe Root in the role.
Interim Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved the appointment following the recommendation by the Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key.
He succeeds Joe Root in becoming the 81st captain of the England Test team. Commenting on the appointment Rob Key said, “I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.”
“He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am delighted that Ben has agreed to become England Men’s Test captain, which is another great achievement in his extraordinary career in an England shirt.”
“He cares deeply and passionately about what it means to represent England and he will lead us into a new era with great pride. It’s an important summer for our Test side and Ben will I am sure relish the challenge before him and his team,” he added.
Stokes said in a statement he was “honoured” to become captain, while also thanking Root for the “massive part” he played in his development as a leader.
“I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team,” he said. “This is a real privilege, and I’m excited about getting started this summer.
“I want to thank Joe Root for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world. He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room,” he concluded.
The all-rounder made his Test debut in December 2013 and has represented his country on 79 occasions at this level. He was named vice-captain in February 2017 and also stood in as captain when Root was absent for the birth of his second child in the summer of 2020. The Durham star currently has 5,061 Test runs at an average of 35.89. He has taken 174 wickets with the ball and is amongst the best all-rounders in the world.
Stokes’ first game in charge will be the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord’s from June 2, the first game in a three-match series against the Black Caps which continues at Trent Bridge from June 10 and concludes at Clean Slate Headingley from June 23.
England also face India and South Africa in Test cricket this summer with Stokes, who served as Root’s vice-captain, looking to correct a poor run of results that has seen the Test side lose 11 and win one of their last 17 games.
The 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia over the winter cost head coach Chris Silverwood and managing director Ashley Giles their jobs, while Root quit as skipper weeks after the 1-0 series loss in the West Indies in March.