Ben Stokes succeeds Joe Root as England men's Test cricket captain

Ben Stokes will be taking on one of the most prestigious positions in British sport Credit: PA

Ben Stokes has been confirmed as England's new cricket captain.

He will be taking over from Joe Root, who led the Men's Test team for five years and quit earlier this month after a record 64 games in charge.

All-rounder Stokes, 30, who served as Root’s deputy and led the side once before in 2020, is England’s 81st Test skipper and was the overwhelming favourite to take charge of a team that has won just once in its last 17 Tests.

New Zealand-born Stokes grew up in Cockermouth, Cumbria, and went on to become one of England's most celebrated cricketers, following his performances in the 2019 World Cup and Ashes.

He said : "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege and I’m excited about getting started this summer.

"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world.

"He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role."

His reign begins on 2 June at Lord’s, where England will host World Test champions New Zealand in the first of a three-match series, alongside a head coach who has yet to be appointed.

Explaining the qualities which made Stokes his first choice, Key said: "I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.

England batsman Joe Root. Credit: PA

"He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison added: "I am delighted that Ben has agreed to become England men’s Test captain, which is another great achievement in his extraordinary career in an England shirt.

"He cares deeply and passionately about what it means to represent England and he will lead us into a new era with great pride. It’s an important summer for our Test side and Ben will I am sure relish the challenge before him and his team."

Stokes will hold his first press conference in the role early next week, hosting the opportunity at his home ground of Chester-le-Street rather than Lord’s.