Ben Stokes to succeed Joe Root as England Check captain | England cricket crew

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Ben Stokes will probably be named England Check captain on Thursday when Rob Key holds his first media convention since changing into the managing director of males’s cricket.

Key provided the function to Stokes on Tuesday throughout face-to-face talks within the north-east and although the 30‑yr‑outdated all‑rounder all the time performed down any captaincy ambitions throughout his time as Joe Root’s deputy, he has accepted the problem.

The appointment of a Check captain requires sign-off from the England and Wales Cricket Board’s unbiased board however whereas it’s in flux – Martin Darlow was introduced on Wednesday as the brand new interim chair – Key’s contemporary mandate since taking cost of the lads’s nationwide groups 10 days in the past has made this a formality.

Given a paucity of credible options within the Check aspect, Stokes was all the time the outright favorite to take over after an exhausted Root known as time on his five-year tenure within the wake of England’s winless winter in Australia and the Caribbean.

Nonetheless, Key nonetheless wanted to fulfill Stokes to determine his starvation for this extra accountability, each as a linchpin of the Check aspect with bat and ball and having taken a four-month break final yr for his psychological well being.

Stokes has captained the Check crew – a four-wicket defeat in opposition to West Indies in Southampton two years in the past when Root was on paternity depart – nevertheless it stays his solely first‑class match in cost. That mentioned, he has lengthy been a frontrunner within the dressing room and earned plaudits when captaining a rookie one-day worldwide crew to a 3-0 collection win in opposition to Pakistan final yr after a Covid-19 outbreak dominated out the primary‑selection squad.

His first look because the everlasting England captain and an eightieth cap will come in opposition to his nation of beginning, New Zealand, when a three-Check collection will get underneath manner at Lord’s on 2 June. It stays to be seen if Stokes may have a head coach alongside him, nevertheless, with the interview course of for the emptiness not beginning till 9 Might.

Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad played intermittently in the Ashes and were dropped for the West Indies tour but should return this summer.
Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad performed intermittently within the Ashes and had been dropped for the West Indies tour however ought to return this summer time. {Photograph}: Mark Kolbe/Getty Pictures

Whereas the likes of Gary Kirsten, Graham Ford and Simon Katich vie for that function, one other place needing to be stuffed is that of Check vice-captain. Usually used to blood future leaders, it could require an skilled head, initially, given the probability that Stokes, a full-throttle cricketer who’s nursing a knee drawback, might effectively miss video games alongside the way in which.

Root seems unlikely to step in whereas he focuses his energies on batting, and the one different batter assured of his spot is Jonny Bairstow after centuries in Sydney and Antigua this yr. Ought to the England hierarchy resolve to spend money on a youthful participant, Zak Crawley – mentored by Key throughout his profession – is a candidate.

There may be additionally an expectation that Stuart Broad – down to start out his season with Nottinghamshire on Thursday – and Jimmy Anderson will function within the Check crew this summer time, with Stokes understood to be in favour of the veteran pair returning to the choice fold after they had been controversially dropped for the Caribbean tour.

It’s one in all plenty of matters prone to be lined by Key at Lord’s on Thursday throughout his first public look as director of males’s cricket, together with the 42-year-old’s determination to separate the head-coach roles by means of format and his total imaginative and prescient for the lads’s sport at each worldwide and on the home stage.

Some semblance of a plan will probably be welcome, given there’s a management vacuum on the very prime of the ECB. On Wednesday the governing physique confirmed it has been compelled to restart the recruitment course of for the function of everlasting ECB chair that has been vacant since Ian Watmore resigned final October.

Ron Kalifa, a non-executive director on the board for the previous 18 months, was beforehand answerable for the search however now seems prone to run for the function of chair himself after an announcement from ECB confirmed “no single candidate was capable of absolutely meet the standards”.

Barry O’Brien, interim chair for the previous eight months, has additionally stepped down for well being causes, together with his deputy, Darlow, taking up till the function is stuffed.

In the meantime, the England all-rounder Chris Woakes has signed a two-year contract extension with Warwickshire till a minimum of the top of the 2024 season.

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