The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday that star all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named captain of the England men’s Test team.
He succeeds right-handed batter Joe Root, who resigned as captain in April of this year, as the 81st captain of England’s men’s Test team.
Ben Stokes’ appointment as captain was widely anticipated, especially after Root, 31, stepped down in the aftermath of England’s three-match away Test series loss to the West Indies in March. His first assignment as Test captain will be a three-match home Test series against New Zealand, which will begin on June 2 at Lord’s.
“I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. 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, and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role,” said Stokes.
Ben Stokes, 30, will take charge of an England men’s Test team that has won just one of its last 17 matches and is currently ranked last in the World Test Championship cycle 2021-23. On Tuesday evening, the ECB Interim Chair and Chief Executive Officer approved his appointment, following the recommendation of Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket.
“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,” said Rob Key.
He previously captained England in the first Test against the West Indies in 2020, following a Covid-19 forced shutdown when Root missed the match to attend the birth of his second child, which resulted in a defeat. Stokes also led a makeshift ODI squad to a 3-0 series win over Pakistan last year before taking a mental health break from the game and returning for the men’s Ashes in Australia.
“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,” said ECB CEO Tom Harrison.
(Inputs from IANS)