Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has won the race to replace Joe Root and will become England's next Test captain.
The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Stokes as new Test skipper on Thursday, with the 30-year-old taking over the top job from the outgoing Root.
“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,” 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.”
Congratulations to our new Men's Test captain, @benstokes38! 🏴🏏— England Cricket (@englandcricket) April 28, 2022
The appointment is the first move by recently-appointed Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key, who was named in the post earlier this month.
“I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben," Key said.
“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.”
Root stepped down as Test captain shortly after England's 1-0 Test series loss to West Indies in the Caribbean and leaves Stokes with plenty of work to do to lift their country off the bottom of the World Test Championship points table.
England have struggled for continuity since the start of the 2021-2023 World Test Championship, with their series loss in the West Indies preceded by a disastrous Ashes campaign in Australia.
One of Stokes' first tasks will be to attempt to put together England’s best Test XI, and whether that includes veteran seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad remains to be seen.
The duo missed out on selection for the tour of the West Indies, but could come into contention for upcoming Test series' at home against New Zealand and South Africa, as well as the rescheduled Test against India.
England currently sit ninth and last on the World Test Championship standings with a 12.50 win-percentage courtesy of their sole Test victory in the 2021-2023 period against India at Headingley last year.
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