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England retain Anderson as vice-captain for New Zealand series

James Anderson keeps the role he was given ahead of the 2017/18 Ashes.
James Anderson

James Anderson will be England's vice-captain for the two-Test series against New Zealand despite the return of Ben Stokes, who had previously held the role.

Stokes was named as Joe Root's deputy in February 2017 but was forced to relinquish the job ahead of the 2017/18 Ashes when he was removed from the squad following his arrest outside a Bristol nightclub last September. The all-rounder was charged with affray in January – a charge which he denies – and faces trial on 6 August. 

England will select Root's vice-captain on a series-by-series basis, with Anderson continuing in the role for the time being. 

"I'm delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series," the 35-year-old seamer told the BBC. "It doesn't change my role in the team a huge amount. I see myself as a senior player and I'm there for people if they need advice. Certainly if Joe needs help on the field, I'm there for him."

Ben Stokes will not resume the vice-captaincy for the time being at least
Ben Stokes will not resume the vice-captaincy for the time being at least

Stokes returned to international cricket during England's recent ODI series in New Zealand, claiming the Player of the Match award in his second game back, taking 2/42 and hitting 63 not out in Mount Maunganui. 

He has been ruled out of England's two-day warm-up fixture against a New Zealand XI in Hamilton due to a minor back injury but is expected to be fit for the first Test in Auckland on 22 March.

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