Ben Stokes has spoken of his family’s pride in his appointment as England’s Test captain.

The Cumbrian spoke for the first time yesterday about his rise to the prestigious role.

And the Cockermouth star revealed the emotional reaction he received from mum Deb when he called to inform her of the news.

“When I rang up and told my mam, she said she needed to go and to give her ten minutes before she rang me back,” Stokes said.

“I do know how big a moment this is and it's more than just about me. They [my family] are very proud.”

Stokes also spoke about his father Ged, who died in December 2020.

“He followed me everywhere,” Stokes said. “Watched every game.

“He thought he knew better than me. If he was still around he’d be telling me how to do this job already! But, yeah – he’d be very proud.”

Stokes’ elevation to the Test captaincy was confirmed last week following Joe Root’s resignation.

It capped the 30-year-old all-rounder’s brilliant rise from Cumbrian junior cricket.

Stokes, speaking to the media at the Emirates Riverside, home of his county club Durham, also said he would be a mental health advocate following his break from the sport last year.

"With the mental side now, a lot of negative things can be written about it, but I took my break back then because I needed to," he said.

"I spoke with someone and I will continue to do that. It's a regular thing.

“I have been a massive advocate for this area since I took my break and I will continue to do that.

“I have that experience to talk to anybody, whoever they may be, if they feel like they need to. The hardest thing to do in the first place is to talk to somebody.

"If anyone might be struggling with something, I have been that person in the dressing-room. I see it as positive that I'm in this role having gone through what I went through last summer. I hope that doesn't change now I'm captain."

Stokes’ appointment as captain is a proud moment for Cumbrian cricket, although the all-rounder said he never harboured ambitions to hold the job during his formative years in the sport.

"It's never been a goal of mine when I was younger, to be a captain of England," he said.

"It wasn't something I automatically said yes to straight away. You've got to consider a lot of things that come with the job.

“But it's not a job you can turn down. When I say I thought to myself, I didn't really do that long...about a minute, I reckon."

Stokes, who moved to Cumbria with his family aged 12, also said the experiences of hie eventful career on and off the pitch will stand him in good stead.

"I've been through a lot of goods and have been through a lot of bads and I feel like I can relate to both sides of what this sporting life can throw at you,” he added.

"There's been plenty of other experiences that I could have felt would chew me up, swallow me up and that's me done. But I never let that happen. I guess I'm too stubborn to let anything get too on top of me."

Stokes, meanwhile, said he will move down a place in the batting order to number six, while on England’s poor Test form he said: "I think if we're completely realistic, winning one game in 17 is nowhere near good enough.

"Everyone needs to be realistic with that. What we can do is say there's only one way to go from here, which is up. I can't expect it to just click and all of a sudden we're number one in a year's time.

"That would be fantastic, but I'm very excited about the role I've got to play in hopefully making the England Test team great again, it's a big goal of mine and I'm really looking forward to it."

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