Cumbrian Ben Stokes is set to lead his country for the first time when England take on West Indies in the first Test on July 8.

Vice captain Stokes will step up and take on the mantle as usual skipper Joe Root is set to miss the game to attend the birth of his second child.

And there has been backing from his team-mates across the board, who believe that Stokes, who went to school in Cockermouth, will slot straight into the role.

Root himself said at the weekend that Stokes is a 'natural leader,saying to the BBC: "He's very well equipped to do a fantastic job for us."

And the all-rounder has also come in for praise from bowler Stuart Broad.

The seamer told Sky Sports: "I have no doubts that Stokesy will be brilliant at captaining England for this one-off Test match or two Tests - we don't know how long it will be.

"To come in and captain one game, I think he'll find very easy. I don't think there'll be much stress or pressure on him or that he'll struggle in any aspect, to be honest.

"He has a really good cricket brain. He's someone who has grown and matured incredibly over the last three or four years.

"One thing we'll have to encourage him, as players, is to make sure he uses his own ability as a player.

"Sometimes, captains can be quite shy of bringing themselves on to bowl or, with other things going on, they don't want to take responsibility of that part of the game.

"As players we will just need to say, 'Stokesy, it's your time to come on with the ball and make an impact'."

The three-Test series, which begins on 8 July 8 at a bio-secure Ageas Bowl, will be played without spectators because of coronavirus.

Stokes moved to England from New Zealand aged 12 with his parents Ged and Deborah Stokes when his father was appointed head coach of Workington Town.

And he grew up in Cockermouth, going to Cockermouth School, and playing cricket for the town's cricket club, where his talent was first nurtured.