Ben Stokes is set to captain England for the first time in Root’s absence. England captain Joe Root is set to miss the first Test against the West Indies next week as he will attend the birth of his second child.
The three-Test series between the two teams will mark the resumption of cricket after the sport was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Root will leave the England squad, who are currently training in a bio-secure environment in Southampton where the first Test will take place, on Wednesday 1 July. After the birth of his child and upon leaving the hospital with his family, he will self-isolate at home for seven days before rejoining the squad.
England remain hopeful that this timeline will allow Root to participate in the second Test, beginning Monday 13 July.
Vice-captain Stokes will fill in during Root’s absence, something the all-rounder previously said would be a “huge honour”. It will be Stokes’ first game in charge of England, and his first game as captain of any side since 2008, when he captained Durham Under-17s.
Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler will replace Stokes as vice-captain, returning to the role he held prior to Stokes’ re-appointment as Root’s deputy in July 2019.