Ben Stokes' rise from Cumbrian junior cricket to the England Test captaincy has been confirmed today.

The all-rounder from Cockermouth has been appointed as successor to Joe Root.

Stokes, 30, becomes the 81st captain of the men's Test side.

The Cumbrian said he is delighted to step into the prestigious role.

“I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team," Stokes said. "This is a real privilege, and I’m excited about getting started this summer.

“I want to thank Joe 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.”

Stokes emerged as the likely successor to Root after the latter's resignation earlier this month, and reports last night said the new managing director of England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key, had offered the all-rounder the role.

Key today said Stokes was the perfect choice.

He said: “I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.

“He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity.”

Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive, added: “I am delighted that Ben has agreed to become England Men’s Test captain, which is another great achievement in his extraordinary career in an England shirt.

“He cares deeply and passionately about what it means to represent England and he will lead us into a new era with great pride. It’s an important summer for our Test side and Ben will I am sure relish the challenge before him and his team.”

It sees Stokes accept the famous role previously held by the likes of Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussein, Alec Stewart, Mike Atherton, Graham Gooch, Mike Gatting, David Gower, Ian Botham, Mike Brearley, Ray Illingworth, Colin Cowdrey and Douglas Jardine.

Stokes, who moved from New Zealand to Cumbria aged 12, is regarded as one of England's top players and one of the world's leading all-rounders.

His cricket journey in England began at Cockermouth Cricket Club, where a teenage Stokes' talent was nurtured.

After playing for Cumbria, he joined Durham's academy and his first XI breakthrough saw Stokes cement his name as one of the top young talents in the country.

He went on to make his Test debut on the 2013/14 Ashes tour and has produced some stunning performances on the international scene since then.

Chief among them was his remarkable matchwinning innings of 135no at Headingley in the 2019 Ashes.

That year - which also saw Stokes play a pivotal role in England's World Cup victory - saw him named BBC Sports Personality of the year.

The Cumbrian took a break from the game last year to focus on his mental well-being and to rest an injured finger.

But he returned in the winter's Ashes series and went on to play in the recent series defeat in the West Indies.

Reports have suggested Stokes is keen to bring veteran fast bowlers Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad back into the fold after their controversial omission in the Caribbean.

His first series as Test captain will come against New Zealand in June.