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England names Stokes as new Test captain to succeed Joe Root

All-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the new England Test captain, taking over from Joe Root.

Ben Stokes (Photo: ICC)

All-rounder Stokes has scored 5,061 runs and taken 174 wickets in 79 Tests and had been vice-captain across two spells since 2017.

His predecessor, 31-year-old Joe Root stepped down after five years in charge earlier this month, having led England in a record 64 Tests.

"I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team," said Stokes.

"This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer."

30-year-old Stokes' first Test as permanent England captain will be against world champions New Zealand at Lord's on 2 June.

He previously captained England in the first Test defeat by West Indies in 2020 when Root missed the match to attend the birth of his second child.

Stokes also led the one-day international side to a 3-0 series victory over Pakistan last summer after a Covid outbreak forced England to name an entirely new squad.

"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," added Stokes.

"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."

In his first major act in the role, Stokes was appointed captain by the new managing director of England men's cricket Rob Key.

"I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben," said Key.

"He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket.”

Former England captain Nasser Hussain had thought that Ben Stokes would be the ideal candidate to replace Joe Root as England captain shortly after England’s disastrous run in test cricket.

“The obvious one for me is Ben Stokes. Stokes has a fabulous cricket brain, you just have to look at his innings in the World Cup final and his innings at Headingley against Australia.” Hussain said.

“The odd occasion he has captained, like the odd time in Australia when Root was off the field, it was noticeable some of the changes he made. He has got a fantastic cricket brain and I think he is a huge presence in that dressing room. When he speaks, people turn and a lot of people in the dressing room admire him and look up to him.”

Stokes had taken a break from cricket in July for his mental wellbeing and to allow a finger injury to heal but returned to the England squad for the Ashes series.

Following England's tour of the West Indies in March, Stokes has been suffering pain in his left knee but is hoping to make a return for county side Durham in May.

England is also filling their head coach vacancy after Chris Silverwood was sacked in February following the 4-0 Ashes defeat by Australia in the winter.

England plans to appoint separate coaches for the Test and white-ball sides, changing for the Test and white-ball sides, a change to the recent set-up.

Root stepped down as captain, citing the "toll" the job had on him, after a 1-0 series defeat by West Indies.

England is winless in nine Tests and has only one won of their past 17 matches.

After three Tests against New Zealand in June, England faces India in the rescheduled fifth Test in July, before three Tests against South Africa in August and September.

(BBC Sport, Sky Sports)

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