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Ben Stokes comments on being given England captaincy in absence of Joe Root

Ben Stokes says he is “proud” to be considered for captaincy in case current skipper Joe Root misses out on the first Test against the West Indies due to the birth of his second child.

Stokes claims he would accept the “huge honor” if it came his way.

“Even if it’s only the once you can still say ‘yeah, I’ve captained England’,” he told a conference call on Monday.

The talented allrounder was restored to his position as Test vice-captain in July 2019, almost a year after being found not guilty of affray following an incident outside a nightclub.

“After that happened it was ‘right, what am I going to do from this point forward?,” Stokes told Sky in a separate interview as he recalled the incident.

“How am I going to carry and conduct myself? I’m quite proud to say I’m in this situation through hard work and determination. I wanted to get better and it’s been no fluke.” he added.

Stokes last led any cricket team aged 16 for Durham Academy. The World Cup winner said captaincy had never been his most favorite job in cricket.

“I’ve never set a goal to want to be a captain. Alastair Cook was always destined to be England captain after Andrew Strauss. Joe Root was always destined to be captain after Alastair Cook. If I’m being honest, I’m not one of those that people would necessarily associate (as) the next England captain.” the 29-year-old said.

With Stokes already cementing his name as one of England’s top performing stars in recent times, pundits including former skipper Kevin Pietersen believe he does not need the extra burden of captaincy.

However, Stokes, jokingly said he would have “nine slips and a gully” as captain. He also added that captaincy wouldn’t affect his game.

“Even if I am in charge that’s not going to change the way that I go about things, in terms of how I want to influence the game, which is try to make a positive effect with the ball or bat in my hand,” he said.

One problem for Stokes, as fellow pace-bowling all-rounders Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff discovered when they were England captain, could be deciding on when to come on and bowl himself.

“It depends if it is a flat wicket or not. If it is flat I will throw the ball to Jofra (Archer), Jimmy (Anderson) and Broady (Stuart Broad) and say ‘here you go’,” he joked.

“I guess I will have to be a bit more mindful if I am the one making that decision.” he concluded.

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