Root could miss first home Test due to child's birth; backs Stokes for interim captaincy 

Joe Root's wife is due to give birth to their second child in early July.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes | AFP Joe Root backed Ben Stokes to be appointed interim England captain if the birth of his child clashes with the first home Test against West Indies in July. 

West Indies' three-Test tour to the UK is set to begin on July 8 behind closed doors in bio-secure environment at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl, subject to government clearance amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

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But that could coincide with Root's wife Carrie giving birth to their second child. Hence, the skipper is in discussions over whether he would be able to leave the on-site hotel and return to the bio-secure venue.

"The due date complicates things slightly. In terms of the bubble and the pregnancy, it’s always an evolving thing," Root told reporters.

"It’s being discussed with the medical team and we’re always trying to stay updated with it. How it will finally look I’m not exactly sure right now."

"It will have to come down to government guidelines and we have to make sure we follow those protocols and do whatever is right by that."

Stokes, who was stripped of vice-captaincy in the aftermath of 2017 Bristol nightclub incident, was reinstated in the position last summer, where he was outstanding during the 50-over World Cup and the Ashes. 

"One of his great qualities as vice-captain is the example he sets. The way he goes about his training, how he wants the ball in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in difficult scenarios with the bat," Root said.

"He drags people with him, gets the best out of players around him and gives the whole team a lift. People will always follow him, look up to him and want to play for him whether he is captain or not."

"Those are great qualities to have as leader and something he could definitely take into captaincy. I love having him as vice-captain and could see him doing a very good job as captain," he added. 

(Inputs from Reuters)


By Kashish Chadha - 03 Jun, 2020

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