Stokes named new England Test captain
Ben Stokes has been named England Test captain, taking over from Joe Root.
All-rounder Stokes, 30, has scored 5,061 runs and taken 174 wickets in 79 Tests and had been vice-captain across two spells since 2017.
Batter Root, 31, stepped down after five years in charge earlier this month, having led England in a record 64 Tests.
"I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team," said Stokes.
"This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer."
Stokes' first Test as permanent England captain will be against world champions New Zealand at Lord's on 2 June.
He previously captained England in the first Test defeat by West Indies in 2020 when Root missed the match to attend the birth of his second child.
"I want to thank Joe Root for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world," added Stokes.
"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 was appointed captain by new managing director of England men's cricket Rob Key, in his first major act in the role.
"I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben," said Key.
"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."
Stokes also led the one-day international side to a 3-0 series victory over Pakistan last summer after a Covid outbreak forced England to name an entirely new squad.
He subsequently took a break from cricket in July for his mental wellbeing and to allow a finger injury to heal but returned to the England squad for the Ashes series.
Following England's tour of the West Indies in March, Stokes has been suffering pain in his left knee, but is hoping to make a return for county side Durham in May.
Key took over as managing director earlier this month, replacing Andrew Strauss, who had stepped in on an interim basis following the sacking of Ashley Giles in February.
England are also in the process of filling their head coach vacancy after Chris Silverwood was sacked in February following the 4-0 Ashes defeat by Australia in the winter.
England plan to appoint separate coaches for the Test and white-ball sides, a change to the recent set-up.
Root stepped down as captain, citing the "toll" the job had on him, after a 1-0 series defeat by West Indies.
England are winless in nine Tests and have only one won of their past 17 matches.
After three Tests against New Zealand in June, England face India in the rescheduled fifth Test in July, before three Tests against South Africa in August and September.