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‘Honoured’ Ben Stokes ‘excited’ to guide England after taking over Test captaincy

Ben Stokes says he’s “honoured” to be handed England’s Test captaincy and has already made it clear that quick bowling greats James Anderson and Stuart Broad are a part of his plans.

Stokes inherits the position from Joe Root, who give up earlier this month after 5 years and a report 64 video games within the job, and has been charged with reinvigorating the fortunes of a red-ball facet that has managed only one victory in its final 17 makes an attempt.

The 30-year-old all-rounder served as Root’s deputy, main the facet as soon as earlier than in 2020 to turn out to be England’s 81st Test skipper, and was the overwhelming favorite to take cost as quickly because the emptiness appeared.

Stokes, who turned one of many nation’s most celebrated athletes along with his gorgeous performances within the 2019 World Cup and Ashes, has been a loyal lieutenant to Root and made a degree of praising his good friend and predecessor in a brief assertion.

“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,” he mentioned.

“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. 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 was chosen by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new males’s managing director Rob Key, who travelled to Durham for face-to-face talks that left him in little doubt about his readiness to simply accept the problem.

“It was an easy decision, but it would been a lot tougher obviously if he wasn’t keen,” mentioned Key.

Rob Key talks to the media
Rob Key spoke at Lord’s on Thursday (Adam Davy/PA)

“He’s not somebody with an enormous ego who’s considering ‘what’s finest for Ben Stokes?’. He genuinely thinks that he’s one of the best particular person to guide England ahead and I agree.

“I talked to lots of people that know him, lots of people round him, and lots of people that he trusts as effectively. Every single one in all them mentioned that they felt he’d be a superb captain.

“We sat down and we aligned in our considering, how we see the sport. I couldn’t do it as a participant – however it’s how I needed to play the sport. He does it. He epitomises all the pieces our red-ball staff wants.

“I just want him to go out and lead from the front and I think he’ll do that. He’s got a lot of compassion, he’s got a lot of empathy and when you talk to him he’s always talking about other people around him and what’s best for the side.”

Stokes’ reign begins with a difficult problem on June 2, with a Lord’s Test towards present world champions New Zealand. And whereas it’s early days, there’s one essential conclusion that has already been agreed.

Both Stokes and Key seem to concur that the choice to jettison Anderson and Broad within the West Indies, a name ostensibly made by Sir Andrew Strauss in his interim administration place however signed off by Root, was a mistake.

The pair, who boast 1,177 Test wickets between them, had been left to stew at dwelling whereas England laboured to a 1-0 defeat within the Caribbean. Now, with a change of regime, the welcome mat has been laid out as soon as once more.

“I rang Jimmy and Broady when I got announced and said to them ‘for my money, you guys are available for selection for that first Test’,” mentioned Key.

“Then after I met Ben the opposite day, one of many first issues he mentioned was ‘I want the best team out there and Jimmy and Brody are a part of that. If they’re one of the best bowlers, then they play’.

“I said I agree and then we moved on. There’s not much to say other than if you’re one of the best bowlers in the country then you play. We don’t need to tell Jimmy and Broady what they need to do and how they need to prepare for a Test match. They’ve got a big part to play.”

It is barely 9 months since Stokes took a hiatus from the sport to take care of his psychological well being in addition to rehabilitating a badly damaged finger, however Key is assured that he’s prepared for the extra burdens of the submit.

As a three-format participant with a brand new emphasis on the five-day recreation, workload administration will likely be a vital issue and one which Key is planning for.

“I didn’t (have concerns about Stokes) once I’d spoken to people who know him better than I do, some of his closest people,” he mentioned.

“I do assume we now have to be sensible with that. At the second Ben’s absolute focus is Test cricket, he’ll inform you that. But he can’t captain the facet clearly if he’s not match.

“So we will work out a way to make sure he can drive the Test side forward as much as possible. If he misses white-ball cricket at times, that is absolutely fine.”

Stokes will maintain his first press convention on Tuesday at his dwelling floor in Durham, eschewing the standard Lord’s look as he prepares for his first-class comeback towards Worcestershire later that week.



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