Joe Root recently gave up his position as the England Test captain after successively failing to make the team perform well in past months. After Root, Ben Stokes was an obvious choice for the position. The all-rounder graciously accepted the offer on Thursday.
“I am honored 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,” Stokes said. “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,” he added.
Ben Stokes’ first test series as ‘permanent’ is against NZ in June
Ben has previously led England in their first Test loss to the West Indies in 2020.
Root was unable to play due to the birth of his second child. After a COVID-19 outbreak caused England to draft a whole new squad, Stokes led the one-day international side to a 3-0 series triumph over Pakistan last summer. In July, he took a sabbatical from cricket to focus on his mental health and to recover from a finger injury, but he returned to the England squad for the Ashes series in August. On June 2, Stokes’ debut Test as England’s regular captain will be against world champions New Zealand at Lord’s.
Key, a former Kent and England batter, was named managing director earlier this month, succeeding Andrew Strauss. Strauss had taken charge temporarily after Ashley Giles was fired in February. England intends to appoint separate coaches for both Test and white-ball teams, a departure from their previous arrangement.
“Ben epitomizes everything our red-ball team needs,” said Key. “I just want him to go out and lead from the front. I always think that in leaders, one of the most important things, especially if you’re a great player, which, make no mistake, is a lot of compassion and empathy. He has got that,” Key added.
One of Stokes’ first responsibilities will be to assemble England’s strongest Test XI. However, James Anderson and Stuart Broad’s comeback is the most anticipated one. The pace duo was not selected for the West Indies tour. Nonetheless, the new captain could consider them for the forthcoming Test series. The team will play against New Zealand and South Africa as well as the rescheduled Test against India.