ngland captain Joe Root will miss the first Test against the West Indies next week to be at the birth of his second child.
Root will leave the team camp in Southampton on Wednesday to be with his wife Carrie, who is expecting this week.
Vice captain Ben Stokes will lead England for the first time while Jos Buttler will assume vice-captain duties.
When Root leaves the hospital with his family, he will self-isolate for seven days then join England before the second Test on July 13 in Manchester.
Stokes was waiting for this opportunity since Monday when he said what a huge honour it would be to lead England once in his career.
“I’ve given it a little thought but not really dived into it yet.
“I mean, it’s not like it’s not a big deal. Getting the opportunity to captain England is a huge honour. Even if it’s only the once, you can say you captained England.
“So it’s something that I’m looking forward to if the opportunity presents itself. But also I know I’m only stepping in to take over the reins because of Joe’s personal situation,” Stokes told a virtual news conference.
Stokes has matured since his well-chronicled disciplinary problems and was inspirational as England won the World Cup last year. He is now Root’s trusted vice-captain.
He said the last time he captained a team was during an academy game against Scotland when he was a teenager.
“I never set a goal to want to be a captain. If you look at Alastair Cook he was destined to be captain after Andrew Strauss and Joe Root was destined to be captain after Alastair Cook, you know who the next one will be when one is coming towards the end of his career, Stokes said.
Stokes also said being captain or not, his style will not change.
“I always try to set the example in terms of commitment and attitude,” he said. “When it comes down to what to do in a situation it will always be a positive route.”