While Ben Stokes looks all ready to lead the English charge from the front, he will be following advice from regular skipper Joe Root. Root will be missing out on the opening match starting on Wednesday-the first major international cricket fixture since March due to the birth of his second child.
Even though Root will not be with the squad at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton for the first Test in the three-match campaign, Stokes said he would not have any qualms about contacting his friend.
“The best message that I have received was when I got my photos done yesterday (Monday) in the blazer. Rooty just left a message on the hanger which said ‘Do it your way’, the newly appointed skipper said.
“Just because Joe is not here doesn’t mean I am not going to use him,” said Stokes, who will be captaining a team for the first time since he was a teenager.
“With Joe and his personal situation, it’s been about letting him deal with that.
The first Test, taking place behind closed doors, will mark the return of international cricket from the coronavirus-enforced lockdown and Stokes said the precautions taken by England and the West Indies could serve as a model for other sports.
“There are obviously a lot of rules and regulations that have been put in place for this to happen,” said Stokes.
“I feel as though a lot of respect has been shown from both sides to make sure this works. Because if you get one thing wrong, it might blow this whole ‘get sport back on to the radar of people’ further back.
England and the West Indies teams will wear Black Lives Matter logos (BLM) on their shirts in support of the campaign against racial injustice.