Ben Stokes back in Durham dressing room as he continues to recover from knee injury

Stokes was pictured wrapped up warm on the Durham balcony as his county took on Nottinghamshire in the LV=Insurance County Championship

Ben Stokes cheered on his Durham team-mates from the dressing room on Thursday as he received extra support to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain.

Stokes was pictured wrapped up warm on the Durham balcony as his county took on Nottinghamshire in the LV = Insurance County Championship.

He continues to recover from a knee injury sustained on the Caribbean tour next month and is not expected to be available to play red ball cricket for Durham until next month.

That didn’t stop him from joining his club teammates, however, and he was at the Riverside watching Durham go 230 in their first innings, before Notts finished day one 50 unbeaten.


Ben Stokes is pictured on the Durham balcony on Thursday [Stu Forster/Getty Images]


Stokes is set to succeed Joe Root as England Test team captain [Gareth Copley/Getty Images]

Stokes are strong favorites to take over as England Test captain from Root, after the former skipper announced his resignation on Good Friday.

The versatile player has previously led the national side in red-and-white ball cricket, and is perhaps the only logical option to take over the reins.

England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan has become the latest figurehead in the game to voice his support for Stokes, telling Sky Sports: “Obviously Ben is a fantastic player, a brilliant leader, even if he’s not doesn’t need to have the captain’s armband to steer like he does.

“The World Cup Final experience here [at Lord’s] really showed his true colors in the way he led from start to finish – and throughout the tournament as well. He would certainly be a candidate.


New cricket chief executive Rob Key will be involved in deciding England’s next captain [Getty Images]

“I think it would be difficult to turn down the captaincy. It’s a privileged position. Obviously the circumstances have to be right, but most people who want to push red-ball cricket forward would like to do that.”

The decision over England’s next skipper is one of many to be made by new men’s cricket chief executive Rob Key.

Key officially started working in the role this week and has been busy reaching out to players and behind-the-scenes staff.

He will also have to appoint a new head coach – or head coaches, given that he expects him to split the roles into red and white ball responsibilities.

Ottis Gibson, who according to The Cricketer was encouraged to apply for the post of head coach by acting chief executive of cricket Andrew Strauss, has reportedly ruled himself out of the running.

Others who might be of interest to the ECB – including Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene – have also walked away from the role, according to national press reports on Friday.

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