Joe Root has sent an emotional message to Ben Stokes following his appointment as England's new Test captain.
Stokes was confirmed as the new skipper on Thursday, becoming the 81st captain of the England Men's Test team. And he is succeeding Root in the role, after the 31-year-old resigned earlier this month following a 1-0 series defeat to the West Indies.
After being unveiled as the new captain, Stokes paid tribute to Root in a statement, insisting he will remain a "key ally". Stokes said: "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer.
"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English Cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world. He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room, and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role."
And Root has now taken to social media to address Stokes' appointment, posting an image of the pair embracing with the caption: "Always got each other's backs. Congratulations mate, I'll be right with you every step of the way".
England's new Managing Director of Men's Cricket Rob Key said Stokes was the "obvious choice" to become captain. "I just think the time is right for him," Key told Sky Sports.
"He's been a leader in that dressing room for a long, long time. He's been the one that people turned to a lot of the time. He's a strong leader, he's got a good cricketing brain.
"Everything he's done has got him to this point. He’s got a hell of a lot of empathy as well. For one of the great players, he cares about the people around him.
"He understands when people struggle, he understands when people might not be feeling great. All of those traits, as well as an outstanding cricket brain, make him the obvious choice."
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