Joe Root to miss opening Test against West Indies, Ben Stokes to lead England

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 29, 2020, 07.16 PM(IST)

England's Joe Root walks off the pitch after his wicket is taken by New Zealand's Mitchell Santner and 226 runs Photograph:( Reuters )

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England captain Joe Root is all set to miss the impending Test against West Indies starting July 8 to attend the birth of his second child. Ace all-rounder Ben Stokes will be handed the captain’s arm-band for the first time in Root’s absence.

England captain Joe Root is all set to miss the impending Test against West Indies starting July 8 to attend the birth of his second child. Ace all-rounder Ben Stokes will be handed the captain’s arm-band for the first time in Root’s absence.

The first of the three-match Test series will commence at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on July 8 and Root’s wife is due around the same time. Root had earlier backed Stokes to be a fantastic captain and now described him as a “natural leader”. 

Root is also a doubt for the second Test in Manchester as the skipper will be required to undergo seven days of self-isolation before joining the team. Last week, ECB director of cricket, Ashley Giles had said that the board hopes to allow players to leave and re-enter the bio-secure bubble during the series including Root. 

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The series will mark the resumption of international cricket since March as the game, like every other sport, was on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following the West Indies series, England will host Pakistan for three Tests and as many T20Is in early August with the tour stretching to September. 

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The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford will receive an administration fee for staging the Test series and all additional central costs will be met by the ECB.

So far, none of the English players have tested positive for coronavirus. 

England vs West Indies, Test series - Full schedule

• 1st Test v West Indies: 8-12 July at Ageas Bowl

• 2nd Test v West Indies: 16-20 July at Emirates Old Trafford

• 3rd Test v West Indies: 24-28 July at Emirates Old Trafford