England told appointing Ben Stokes as Test captain “could be the making of him”

Ben Stokes has been named England‘s new Test captain, replacing Joe Root after he stood down as skipper earlier this month.

Stokes was unveiled as Root’s successor on Thursday, saying: “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.”

England’s new Managing Director of Men’s Cricket Rob Key insisted Stokes is “ready for the added responsibility” of the role and former England bowler and BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew believes the captaincy “could be the making of him”.

He told BBC Sport: “Ben Stokes was the only candidate to be England’s new Test captain. The others in the squad during the defeat in the West Indies were not going to be captain any time soon and Rob Key, the new managing director of men’s England cricket, discounted the idea of appointing someone from outside the team.

“England are at rock bottom so opting for a skipper who is trying to prove their place in the XI was a no-go. It had to be Stokes and it could be the making of him.

England have appointed Ben Stokes as their new Test captain
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Dan Mullan/Getty Images for ECB)

“For years now Stokes has been a very responsible member of this England team. He is often their spokesperson, a leader on the field and he was the vice-captain.

“Of course people will look back at two other talismanic all-rounders, Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff, who stepped up to lead England and found things tough. But Stokes is his own man.

“We cannot judge him on those that have come before. I believe he will be a very good captain, potentially the right man for the time being.”

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