Root vows to be with new England skipper Stokes ‘every step of the way’

LONDON: Former skipper Joe Root promised to be with new England Test captain Ben Stokes “every step of the way” after his close friend was appointed as his successor on Thursday. The 30-year-old Stokes, who served as Root’s deputy, was the overwhelming favourite to take charge of a struggling team that have won just one of their past 17 Test matches.

Root stood down earlier this month following a series loss in the Caribbean, which came after England’s 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia. But the star batsman, who has continued to pile on the runs despite England’s woeful run of results, said he would give Stokes his complete support. “Always got each other’s backs,” Root tweeted. “Congratulations mate, I’ll be right with you every step of the way.”