All-rounder Ben Stokes was on Thursday named the captain of England’s men’s Test team by the England and Wales Cricket Board. The development comes after Joe Root resigned from the post earlier this month after a spate of losses, which included a 0-4 thrashing in the Ashes at the hands of Australia. England are at the bottom of the points table of the current cycle of ICC Test Championship.
“Durham’s Ben Stokes has been appointed captain of the England Men’s Test team by the England & Wales Cricket Board. He succeeds Joe Root in becoming the 81st captain of the England Men’s Test team. The ECB Interim Chair and Chief Executive Officer approved the appointment on Tuesday evening following the recommendation by the Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key,” ECB said in its official release.
Among Stokes’ big challenges will be to try and win the postponed fifth Test match against India in July this year to avoid a first home series defeat versus India in 15 years.
Stokes, considered to be one of England’s biggest match-winners across formats, takes over from Root, who put an end to his leadership stint of five years. Despite the recent losses, Root left the job as England’s most successful Test captain.
Root captained England in 64 Tests, winning 27 and losing 26 of them. All of these are records for an England captain. His win percentage of 42.18 is second only to that of Michael Vaughan (50.98) among those who have led England in 50 or more Tests.
Commenting on the appointment, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key, said:
“I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.
“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.”
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said:
“I am delighted that Ben has agreed to become England Men’s Test captain, which is another great achievement in his extraordinary career in an England shirt.
“He cares deeply and passionately about what it means to represent England and he will lead us into a new era with great pride. It’s an important summer for our Test side and Ben will I am sure relish the challenge before him and his team.”
Stokes made his Test debut in December 2013 and has represented his country on 79 occasions at this level. He was named vice-captain in February 2017 and also stood in as captain when Root was absent for the birth of his second child in the summer of 2020. The Durham star currently has 5,061 Test runs at an average of 35.89. He has taken 174 wickets with the ball and is amongst the best all-rounders in the world.
England Men’s Test Captain, Ben Stokes, added:
“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.
“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.”
Stokes will speak to media outlets next week in Durham.
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