England unveiled Ben Stokes as their Test captain on Thursday, hoping for a quick turnaround under the talismanic all-rounder after a tame end to Joe Root’s five-year tenure with the team earlier this month.
oot led England in a record 64 Tests but his role became untenable after they clinched a win in their last 17 Tests, a run that included a 4-0 win over Ashes in Australia and a 1-0 defeat included in the West Indies.
“I had no hesitation in offering Ben the role of Test captain,” Rob Key said in a statement in his first major appointment since taking over as managing director of English men’s cricket earlier this month.
“He embodies the mentality and approach with which we aim to lead this team into the next era of red ball cricket.”
The 30-year-old Stokes, who has netted more than 5,000 runs and won 174 wickets in his 79 Tests for England, called it an “honor” to lead the Test side.
“It’s a real privilege and I’m looking forward to starting this summer,” said the Durham player.
Arguably the greatest all-rounder of his day, Stokes recognized Root’s role in his development as a leading figure in the England dressing room.
“I want to thank Joe for everything he’s done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport around the world,” Stokes said of England’s batting mainstay.
“He’s been a big part of my development as a dressing room leader and will continue to be a key ally for me in that role.”
Root, who initially wanted to continue the job, resigned citing the heavy workload.
“We’ve always had each other’s backs. Congratulations mate I will be with you every step of the way,” Root wrote on Twitter after Stokes’ appointment, posting a picture of the couple embracing.
While Stokes was an obvious choice to replace Root, his struggles with injuries and workload remain a concern for the team.
He also took an indefinite break from cricket last year to focus on his mental health.
The Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Tom Harrison, was optimistic about a glorious ‘new era’ under Stokes.
“He is very and passionate about what it means to represent England and he will lead us into a new era with great pride,” Harrison said.
“It’s an important summer for our Test squad and Ben will surely enjoy the challenge that lies ahead for him and his team.”
Stokes’ first appearance will be a two-game home series in June against New Zealand, his country of birth.
As Test captain, his views will be crucial to the future of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s two most prolific Test bowlers who were recently dropped from the roster.
Under Key, England have also campaigned for separate red-ball and white-ball coaches following Chris Silverwood’s retirement in February.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cricket/england-look-to-ben-stokes-as-their-new-cricket-test-captain-to-turnaround-countrys-fortunes-41596831.html England are looking to Ben Stokes as new cricket Test captain to turn the tide of the country