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Ashes 2019 | Ben Stokes Proud to be England Test Vice-captain Again

Stokes was stripped of the role in 2017 following a late-night brawl in Bristol but was restored as Joe Root's deputy ahead of the five-Test series against Australia, which begins in Birmingham on Thursday.

AFP |July 29, 2019, 6:29 PM IST
Ashes 2019 | Ben Stokes Proud to be England Test Vice-captain Again

Ben Stokes has revealed the pride he felt after being reinstated as England's Test vice-captain ahead of the Ashes series starting this week.

Stokes was stripped of the role in 2017 following a late-night brawl in Bristol but was restored as Joe Root's deputy ahead of the five-Test series against Australia, which begins in Birmingham on Thursday.

Jos Buttler had been acting as Root's right-hand man but was happy to pass the baton back after England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) director of men's cricket Ashley Giles and chief executive Tom Harrison recommended Stokes's restoration.

Speaking on a weekend visit to his old club in Cumbria, the 28-year-old said: "I love having that responsibility and it is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I take pride in being vice-captain. Being part of that think-tank is pretty cool.

"I am very good friends with Joe as well, off the field, and as much as I can do to help him through his career, not just as a captain but as a player as well, I am really looking forward to that challenge.

"I think it would have been just as exciting anyway. Playing in an Ashes series is always special and they don't come around that often but being named vice-captain again was very good words to hear when I got the call."

Stokes missed the last series against Australia in 2017/18 after he was stood down by the ECB following events in Bristol.

He will start the Ashes campaign buoyed by his man-of-the-match performance in the World Cup final but is now switching focus.

"Everything is sort of on the Ashes now," he said.

"We have had that time to let everything sink in and reflect on that amazing seven weeks we have had in the World Cup, but the World Cup was half of the journey that we wanted to achieve this summer and the other half is winning the Ashes.

"Everything has been focused on what we are going to do to beat the Australians. It is going to be a busy six weeks. Five Test matches against Australia isn't easy."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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