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

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

Key supplied the function to Stokes on Tuesday throughout face-to-face talks within the north-east and although the 30‑12 months‑previous all‑rounder at all times 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 recent mandate since taking cost of the boys’s nationwide groups 10 days in the past has made this a formality.

Given a paucity of credible options within the Check facet, Stokes was at all times 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 facet with bat and ball and having taken a four-month break final 12 months for his psychological well being.

Stokes has captained the Check workforce – a four-wicket defeat towards West Indies in Southampton two years in the past when Root was on paternity go away – but it surely 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 workforce to a 3-0 collection win towards Pakistan final 12 months after a Covid-19 outbreak dominated out the primary‑alternative squad.

His first look because the everlasting England captain and an eightieth cap will come towards his nation of start, New Zealand, when a three-Check collection will get underneath method 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 have been dropped for the West Indies tour however ought to return this summer season. {Photograph}: Mark Kolbe/Getty Photographs

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 might require an skilled head, initially, given the probability that Stokes, a full-throttle cricketer who’s nursing a knee downside, might effectively miss video games alongside the best way.

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 12 months. Ought to the England hierarchy determine to put money into a youthful participant, Zak Crawley – mentored by Key throughout his profession – is a candidate.

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

It’s considered one of numerous matters more likely 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 choice to separate the head-coach roles by the use of format and his general imaginative and prescient for the boys’s recreation at each worldwide and on the home stage.

Some semblance of a plan shall be welcome, given there’s a management vacuum on the very high of the ECB. On Wednesday the governing physique confirmed it has been pressured 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 more likely to run for the function of chair himself after a press release from ECB confirmed “no single candidate was in a position to absolutely meet the standards”.

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

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

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