England skipper Joe Root is set to miss the opening Test against West Indies next week to attend the birth of his second child. Star all-rounder Ben Stokes will lead the team for the first time in Root’s absence.
The first game of the three-Test series begins at the Aegeas Bowl in Southampton from July 8 and Root’s wife is due around the same time.
Root has thrown his weight behind the all-rounder for being the interim captain, describing him as a “natural leader”.
“He’s very well equipped to do a fantastic job for us,” Root told the BBC.
Root is also a doubtful starter for the second Test as the skipper will be required to undergo seven days of self-isolation before joining the team.