The ECB has confirmed that Joe Root will miss England’s first Test against West Indies next month to be present at the birth of his second child.
All-rounder Ben Stokes will take on the captaincy in Root’s absence, with Jos Buttler to act as vice-captain for the first Test, which will begin on July 8.
Root’s absence at some point during the West Indies series has been expected for a while due to his wife’s pregnancy and the regulations surrounding leaving and returning to ‘bio-secure’ venues. He will leave England’s training camp at the Ageas Bowl – the venue for the first Test – on Wednesday.
The full-time Test skipper will have to enter a week-long isolation period at home after he leaves the hospital and is expected to join up with England for the second Test at Old Trafford beginning on July 16.
Stokes has never captained England before. Buttler is England’s white-ball vice-captain and was Root’s deputy in red-ball cricket before Stokes replaced him ahead of last year’s Ashes.