Cricket news 2022: Ben Stokes named England Test captain

Ben Stokes, who single-handedly broke the heart of every Australian cricket fan in 2019, has been unveiled as England’s Test captain.

Ben Stokes has officially been unveiled as England’s 81st Test captain.

On Thursday evening AEST, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that the Durham all-rounder would replace former Test captain Joe Root, who stepped away from the role earlier this month after England’s disappointing tour of the West Indies.

Stokes’ appointment was recommended by Rob Key, the new managing director of England men’s cricket, and approved by the ECB on Wednesday.

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“I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team,” Stokes said in a statement.

“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 has represented England in 79 Test matches, scoring 5061 runs at 35.89 and taking 174 wickets at 32.12.

The 30-year-old has scored 11 Test centuries since making his international debut in 2013, twice being named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World.

Stokes previously captained England for one Test match against the West Indies in 2020 when Root was unavailable due to the birth of his second child.

“I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben,” Key said in a statement.

“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.”

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison 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 missed a large portion of the 2021 season after stepping away from the game to focus on his mental health and recover from a finger injury he sustained during the Indian Premier League.

England, currently reeling at the bottom of the World Test Championship ladder, has won just one of its 17 most recent Tests.

England’s next scheduled Test match is against New Zealand, Stokes’ country of birth, at Lord’s on Thursday, June 2.

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