The other members of the West Indies squad were not likely to be captain soon. Rob Key, the new managing director of men’s England cricket dismissed the possibility of appointing someone outside the team.
England is at rock bottom, so it was not a good idea to choose a skipper trying to prove his place in the XI.
It had to have been Stokes, and it could be the making.
Stokes asks Broad and Anderson to return – Key
England Test Captain: All-rounder Stokes
We know that he is talented and has the courage to do anything. Just think back to 2019, his World Cup final innings and his heroics at Headingley in his six-weeks against Australia.
He can still take those innings and turn them into his leadership.
Stokes has been an integral member of the England team for many years. He is their spokesperson, a leader in the field, and was vice-captain.
People will also remember Andrew Flintoff and Ian Botham, two other talisman all-rounders who led England through difficult times.
Stokes is his man. He is not like the men who came before him.
He will be a great captain and could even be the right man for the job.
English cricket is chaotic on and off the field. It is best to grab it by the scruff of your neck. Stokes could pull the game in this country along with his tattooed right hand.
But I do hope England does not put him under too much of the captaincy.
It is important to take it one at a time, win every game and regain some confidence.
Perhaps the team will have developed over 12 months and someone can take over, which would allow Stokes to focus on his cricket.
Ben witnessed Joe Root, his great friend and colleague, lose his strength in the Caribbean.
Stokes should not be reduced to such a position. He must be free to play his game and lead from front.
Stokes will need someone to help him take the pressure off.
Key has made smart decisions already and the next decision, to appoint an experienced Test coach, is crucial.
It was a wise decision to split the coaching roles in red and white-ball. It will be interesting to see who Key can convince to accept the job in the longest format.
He will likely try to find the most prominent name possible, with Paul Collingwood being the obvious favorite for the white-ball team.
This is a great opportunity for a coach, as the only way to go is up.
Key appears to have made a good start by his straightforward appearance before the media at Lord’s Thursday.
Key has been a frequent visitor to my house as a pundit, and I have always listened to his opinions. He is a man I respect.
He speaks clearly, clearly, and has an excellent grasp of English.
The possibility of a coach coming from overseas has been discussed by Gary Kirsten, ex-South Africa batsman, and Simon Katich, ex-Australian batsman. If this happens, the managing director must be familiar with English cricket.
Key does. Key is a straight-talker who has already begun to correct the mistakes of recent months.
It was clearly a mistake to drop James Anderson (England’s most successful bowlers) for the West Indies tour.
Key already confirmed that, form and fitness permitting, they will be back in the summer. Stokes will also have two world-class bowlers at his disposal who are eager to prove a point.
Key will also bring back the chief selector role, another right decision.
Chris Silverwood discovered that being a coach and selector was never going to be a simple job.
England’s repeated errors in selection over the past 15 month – in India and during the Ashes at Brisbane, Adelaide – shows that you need more voices at these meetings.
England seems to have chosen a sensible, measured path with Stokes at its helm.
It will be difficult to turn the ship around with many of the same players as in June’s world champions New Zealand.