Cricket International

Root set to miss opening Test against Windies, Stokes to lead

England skipper Joe Root is set to miss the opening Test against West Indies next week to attend the birth of his second child.

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes will lead the team for the first time in Root’s absence.

The first game of the three-Test series begins at the Aegeas Bowl in Southampton from July 8 and Root’s wife is due around the same time.

Root has thrown his weight behind the all-rounder for being the interim captain, describing him as a “natural leader“.

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“He’s very well equipped to do a fantastic job for us,” Root told the BBC.

Root is also a doubtful starter for the second Test as the skipper will be required to undergo seven days of self-isolation before joining the team.

Last week, England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) director of cricket Ashley Giles had said the board hopes to allow players to leave and re-enter the team “bubble” during the series, including Root.

The series, which will be played in ‘bio-secure’ venues, will mark the resumption of cricket after a three-month long coronavirus hiatus.

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