• Ben Stokes to captain England

    All-rounder Ben Stokes will captain England for the very first time in the opening Test against the West Indies in Southampton next week.

    Stokes will fill in for regular captain Joe Root, who will miss the first clash with the men from the Caribbean to be with his wife, who is expected to give birth to their second child later this week.

    Strict health protocols dictate that Root should as a result not be part of group gatherings immediately after his wife leaves the hospital.

    READ: England move into bio-bubble

    The resilient Stokes, though, who has been vice-captain in recent times, will lead the team for the very first time in his career. He hasĀ  also never captained a team at first-class level.

    He will be assisted by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who will take over the vice-captaincy.

    In a statement the English Cricket Board said that Root will join up with the rest of the England squad ahead of the second Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester.

    ‘Root will commence a seven-day self-isolation period at home once he leaves hospital with his family. Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has been Root’s Test vice-captain since his appointment last July, will captain the side for the first time in Southampton. Lancashire’s Jos Buttler will assume vice-captaincy duties.’

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