James Anderson replaces Ben Stokes as England vice-captain for the Ashes

England's first tour match before the first Test in Brisbane.

James Anderson
James Anderson and Joe Root of England. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Veteran England medium pacer James Anderson is ready to replace suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes as the vice-captain of the England Test team for the away Ashes Test series in Australia. Anderson will be the deputy to skipper Joe Root. The new development was triggered after Stokes was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for being allegedly involved in a street fight at the early hour of the morning in Bristol on September 25.

With the first Test of the five-match series will start on November 23, ECB announced Anderson as the vice-captain to Root. Anderson told reporters assuming the vice-captaincy was “not something I have really thought about, to be honest.”


When the highest wicket-taker for England was asked whether he would decline the role, he said, “Of course not, I wouldn’t. Certainly, over the past few years I have seen my role in the team as being a leader, especially with the young bowlers coming in, I try and help out where I can.”

The 35-year-old paceman said he already fulfilled a leadership role in the team with support from former skipper Alastair Cook and fast bowler Stuart Broad.

“That is part and parcel as a senior player who has played over 100 Tests, to be a leader,” he said. “I and Stuart try and lead the bowling attack, Alastair has been captain. We have a nice leadership group. My experience as a senior player is to bring experience to the group. Myself, Alastair, Stuart Broad all bring experience to the group and our job is to help out where we can. There’s a lot of players on this tour that haven’t played an Ashes series or toured Australia. Our job is to help out,” Anderson stated.

Meanwhile, in England’s first tour match before the first Test in Brisbane Anderson picked up four wickets for 37 runs against Western Australia XI in Adelaide. On a flat pitch at WACA Anderson didn’t get much swing and missed his rhythm with the new ball.

“But I felt I got better as the day wore on and I think most of the bowlers would say the same,” he added.

England arrived in Adelaide on Monday for a four-day day-night tour game starting on Wednesday against a Cricket Australia XI. These tour matches will offer England an opportunity to get accustomed to the conditions Down Under before the day-night Test in Brisbane, the tournament opener.