LONDON: Ben Stokes has been appointed as England’s new Test cricket captain in succession to Joe Root, who quit earlier this month after five years and a record 64 games.

The 30-year-old all-rounder, who served as Root’s deputy and led the side once before in 2020, is England’s 81st Test skipper and was the overwhelming favourite to take charge of a team that has won just once in its last 17 Tests.

Stokes was chosen by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new men’s managing director Rob Key who has also opted to adopt a split coaching team for Test and limited-overs squads.

Stokes, who became one of the country’s most celebrated athletes with his stunning performances in the 2019 World Cup and Ashes, has been a loyal lieutenant to Root and made a point of praising his friend and predecessor in a short statement.

He said: “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 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’s reign begins on June 2 at Lord’s, where England will host World Test champions New Zealand in the first of a three-match series, alongside a red-ball head coach who has yet to be appointed.

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