London: England have appointed all-rounder Ben Stokes as their test captain to succeed Joe Root in the job, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday.
"I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity," managing director of England men's cricket Rob Key said in a statement. Root, 31, stepped down earlier this month after England won one of their previous 17 tests, a run which included a 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia and a 1-0 series defeat in West Indies.
"I had no hesitation in offering the role of test captain to Ben," Key said. "He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket."
The 30-year-old Stokes, who has scored more than 5,000 runs and taken 174 wickets in his 79 tests for England, called it an "honour" to lead the test side. "This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer," the Durham player said.
"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."
Stokes, who was Root's deputy, took an indefinite break from cricket last year to focus on his mental health while also recovering from a second operation on a broken finger before he returned to the squad for the Ashes series. England's next test assignment is a two-match home series against New Zealand in June.
The ECB has also advertised for separate red-ball and white-ball coaches following Chris Silverwood's resignation in February.