Key ‘to meet Stokes this week’ to discuss replacing Root as England Test captain

Rob Key is reportedly set to hold talks with Ben Stokes later this week over the England captaincy, following Joe Root 's decision to step down after five years in charge.

As vice-captain and one of the few players guaranteed a spot in the side if fit, Stokes is widely viewed as Root's most likely successor. However, Stokes previously expressed reluctance towards the role, admitting in January he has "never really had an ambition to be a captain".

Nasser Hussain has also voiced concerns over Stokes being handed the captaincy, warning England must ensure he is in the "right place mentally and physically" to take on the job.

"The difficult thing for Stokes is the point I made about the toll it takes on you as a captain," Hussain said. "You have to be in the right place mentally and physically."

And according to Sky Sports, Key, who was recently appointed Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, is set to 'talk with Stokes about the position this week'. A separate report from the Times states that Stokes is 'unlikely to turn down the job if offered to him'.

Stuart Broad has also been touted as a potential replacement for Root. However, the veteran seamer played down speculation linking him with the vacancy, insisting he is solely focused on winning back his place in the side.

In his latest column for the Mail on Sunday, Broad wrote: "Naturally, I am aware that my name has been touted as a potential successor to Joe as England captain and I guess that is because I am an experienced centrally contracted player who has been around the international game a long time.

"However, it is not something I have given any thought to because firstly I am not currently in possession of a shirt within the England Test team and my focus is very much on changing that by taking wickets for Nottinghamshire over the next few weeks.

"In fact, I would argue we are in a fairly unique position as far as selection for the Test team goes right now in that there are only two players whose names you could write in pen on the scorecard.

"One of them is Joe Root, the other is Ben Stokes — and one of them isn't going to be captain for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2 because he has just given the job away."

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