Ben Stokes could deputise as England captain in Joe Root absence

:Headline: Ben Stokes could deputise as England captain in Joe Root absence: ID:401195: from db_amp
The West Indies are in town next month.

Ben Stokes could be the man who leads England in the first Test of the summer, after newly announced dates for the West Indies tour confirmed a possible clash with the birth of Joe Root's second child.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has revealed its planned schedule for the delayed three-match series, with the first Test set to be staged at the Ageas Bowl from July 8 and the next two matches set to take place at Emirates Old Trafford from July 16 and 24 respectively.

Final Government approval will still be required for the behind-closed-doors games to go ahead but the development represents a major shot in the arm for a sport that has already lost almost two months of its domestic season.

Test captain Root returned to training at Trent Bridge on Monday in anticipation of the series but with his wife Carrie set to give birth in just a few weeks, he might end up watching cricket's big return from the labour ward.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "I welcome the ECB's plans to stage Test cricket behind closed doors next month. We recognise the importance of these events to the sport and public at large, and have worked closely with the ECB and other major sports on developing guidance to ensure the safest possible environment for everyone involved."

For now, Root is simply glad to have bat in hand again.

"It was really nice to get back to training, but to start with everything seems a million miles an hour," he said.

"As a few hours went on, it seemed to come back to me and by the end of it I felt really good. I think a lot of players will have found positives from having a period of time away from cricket, and feel really refreshed and energised coming back into it."

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last updated article - 2020-06-02 19:39:00:
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