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AFP
June 4, 2020

Stokes may lead England against WI

Sports

AFP
June 4, 2020

LONDON: After waiting and waiting for a resumption of international cricket following Covid-19, there is now a very real possibility that England captain Joe Root may miss the first Test against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl next month.

His wife, Carrie, is due to give birth to their second child at the start of July and the first Test in Southampton will begin, subject to government approval, on July 8. Quite understandably, Root says he will be at the birth come what may and if that rules him out of the Test, Ben Stokes, as the team's vice-captain, would therefore lead England for the first time. According to Cricket Archive, Stokes has only captained three matches in his career, one for Durham under-17s and two for Durham's academy. His record stands at won one, lost one, drawn one. Although he has never captained his country, he has been Root's Test vice-captain for two spells either side of the Bristol incident. He reclaimed the deputy's armband last July ahead of the Ashes. It is an intriguing possibility even if it is likely to be for just one, or at most, two matches this summer. As a player, Stokes has obvious cricketing intelligence and seeing how he brought that intelligence to bear as captain would be fascinating.