Former England skipper Michael Atherton feels it would be a “mistake” to consider Ben Stokes as long-term captain of England’s Test team. Stokes became England’s 81st Test captain on Thursday, replacing Joe Root, who resigned from the position earlier this month and remains the most successful Test captain of England in terms of number of matches won. Atherton, who captained England for 54 Tests between 1993 and 2001, feels Stokes should not be a “long-term pick”, saying that the demanding Test captain’s role “wears down” even the toughest of characters.
“It would be a mistake to imagine Stokes as necessarily a long-term pick. Having seen the way the job wears down even the toughest and flintiest of characters, there is no need for the same to happen to Stokes,” Atherton wrote on his column for The Times, as quoted by Mirror.co.uk.
The cricketer-turned commentator further added that Stokes should lead England for a short period of time, adding that the all-rounder can contribute more as a player.
“Let him give the job his all for a short period of time, hoping to help transform attitudes and approach, and then step away while he has more to give as a player,” he wrote.
Stokes, who has played 79 Tests for England, has scored more than 5,000 runs and taken 174 wickets.
Following his appointment as England’s Test captain, 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”
Stokes also thanked his predecessor, Root, for everything he has done for English cricket.
“I want to thank Joe (Root) 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,” he had said in an official statement.
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