Ben Stokes was officially confirmed as the new captain of the England Men’s Test team on Thursday, with the 30-year-old all-rounder replacing Joe Root in the role.
Stokes has been England vice-captain since February 2017 and previously taken charge of England in a Test against West Indies in 2020 as well as three One Day Internationals against Pakistan in 2021.
The all-rounder had been widely tipped for the vacant captain’s position following Root’s decision to resign after the 1-0 series loss to West Indies in March, and the England & Wales Cricket Board made the news official on Thursday morning.
"I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team," Stokes said in an ECB statement. "This is a real privilege, and I’m excited about getting started this summer.
"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English Cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world," the new England captain continued.
"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."
The Durham star, who has 5,061 runs and 174 wickets to his name in Test cricket, has been backed by a host of cricket’s biggest names:
Always got each other’s backs. Congratulations mate, I’ll be right with you every step of the way ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KqO3mZpd9X— Joe Root (@root66) April 28, 2022
Congratulations to our new Men's Test captain, @benstokes38! 🏴🏏— England Cricket (@englandcricket) April 28, 2022
Good luck with the best job in world sport @benstokes38 .. I think you are going to make a fine Test skipper .. 👍— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 28, 2022
Congrats, @benstokes38! An incredible honour and I know you’ll do all of us England fans proud! 🏏— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) April 28, 2022
Ben Stokes is a talismanic cricketer bringing natural leadership even without the armband. The captaincy formalises it and brings his tactical mind to the fore on-field. Don’t expect Eng’s batting fortunes to change overnight but his appointment feels positive.— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) April 28, 2022
Stokes is the first appointment of England’s new Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key, who is also set to name a new Test coach, a new white-ball coach and a new selection panel for the England Men’s team.
"He’s been a leader in that dressing room for a long time," Key told reporters after the ECB’s official announcement. "He’ll be a strong leader, make no mistake about that.
"I think he’s got a good cricket brain. He’s got a hell of a lot of empathy as well, he’s one of those great players who cares about people around him. I think all of those traits make him the standout choice.
"Even if there were loads of other candidates, he’s the best one to do it by a long way at the moment," Key added. "The time is absolutely right for Ben Stokes to be the one to come in."
Ben Stokes' tenure as England Men's Test captain will start with a three-Test series against reigning World Test Champions New Zealand, followed by the fifth and final rescheduled Test against India, with a three-Test series against South Africa to round off the English summer.
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