Cumbria's Ben Stokes takes the helm as international cricket returns after four months

  • Speaking on Tuesday ahead of the Test Match.

Cockermouth cricketer Ben Stokes will captain England for the first time today.

The all-rounder says he's excited and looking forward to leading the team out against the West Indies in the opening Test match at Southampton.

The international match is the first to take place between two major nations anywhere in the world since March 2, when sport was shutdown due to the coronavirus.

It will be also first outing as captain for England's Ben Stokes too - with Joe Root sitting out the match due to the arrival of his second child.

Speaking to ITV News, he said the match is 'massive' for the nation. He said: "Not only is cricket back from an international point-of-view, but it's also back from a club cricket side as well.

"I know everybody's been craving this from a player's point of view, but I also think from a spectators view and a fan's point of view - this is a massive occasion for a lot of people around England.

Ben Stokes preparing for the England's game against the West Indies on Wednesday. Credit: PA

Stokes has already received a message from his teammate, however, finding a note on his blazer hanger from Root: "Rooty just left a message on the hanger which said 'Do it your way’.

"It was a handwritten note – not very well written – and I wasn't really expecting it.

"It was a really nice message to receive and nice for Joe to think about me doing it for the first time.

"There’s been a lot of opinions flying around but that was a really nice thought."

The match against West Indies takes place at 11:00.

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