England’s current vice-captain Ben
Stokes is all set to be officially appointed as Joe Root’s replacement for Test
captaincy in the next 48 hours after ECB’s newly appointed director of cricket
Rob Key held a meeting with the all-rounder in Durham on Tuesday, reported i
Key, a former England opener, travelled
to Durham to meet Stokes and have had a face-to-face meeting. They have
reportedly discussed Stokes taking over the role left vacant by Root, who was
under the scanner for England’s 4-0 Ashes drubbing at the hands of Australia
and 1-0 Test series defeat to West Indies in the Caribbean early this year. Root resigned last
month after England won just one match in 17 Tests under his leadership.
Root had taken over the captaincy from
Alastair Cook in 2017. As per the local media reports, Stokes is keen to lead
England in Test white.
The 30-year-old all-rounder was already
the overwhelming favourite to succeed the Yorkshireman as there are no
dependable alternatives to England selectors.
Now, it is expected that the England and
Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will make an official announcement of Stokes’
appointment by the end of this week.
The ECB is all set to hold a press
conference with Key at Lord’s on Thursday when the news is expected to be
Stokes was backed to be an inspirational
captain for England by Durham’s director of cricket Marcus North on Tuesday.
The Australian, who was the leading
contender to become England’s new director of cricket before withdrawing his
name earlier this month, said, “He’s a match-winner, he has moments of absolute
brilliance and wins games on his own. That’s someone that you naturally, as a
team-mate, will be inspired to play with and to follow.
“He’s someone that wears his heart on
his sleeve and gives everything he’s possibly got for England when he plays.
“That’s always a great quality in a
leader and I have no doubt that if he gets the opportunity and he wants to take
that opportunity, he’ll have the whole dressing room behind him.”