Ben Stokes: England to name all-rounder as new Test captain to succeed Joe Root

Ben Stokes
Stokes’ first Test as permanent England captain will be against New Zealand in June

Ben Stokes is expected to be named England Test captain later on Thursday, taking over from Joe Root.

All-rounder Stokes, 30, has scored 5,061 runs and taken 174 wickets in 79 Tests and had been vice-captain across two spells since 2017.

Batter Root, 31, stepped down after five years in charge, having led England in a record 64 Tests.

Stokes’ first Test as permanent England captain will be against world champions New Zealand at Lord’s on 2 June.

He previously captained England in the first Test defeat by West Indies in 2020 when Root missed the match to attend the birth of his second child.

Stokes also led the one-day international side to a 3-0 series victory over Pakistan last summer after a Covid outbreak forced England to name an entirely new squad.

He took a break from cricket in July for his mental wellbeing and to allow a finger injury to heal but returned to the England squad for the Ashes series.

Following England’s tour of the West Indies in March, Stokes has been suffering pain in his left knee, but is hoping to make a return for county side Durham in May.

New managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key has appointed Stokes as captain in his first major act since taking over the role from Andrew Strauss, who had stepped in on an interim basis following the sacking of Ashley Giles in February.

England are also in the process of filling their head coach vacancy after Chris Silverwood was sacked in February following the 4-0 Ashes defeat by Australia in the winter.

England plan to appoint separate coaches for the Test and white-ball sides, a change to the recent set-up.

Root stepped down as captain earlier this month, citing the “toll” the job had on him, after a 1-0 series defeat by West Indies.

England are winless in nine Tests and have only one won of their past 17 matches.

After three Tests against New Zealand in June, England face India in the rescheduled fifth Test in July, before three Tests against South Africa in August and September.

More to follow.

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