England v West Indies: Joe Root set to miss first Test to attend child’s birth

Ben Stokes (left) was stripped of the Test vice-captaincy in 2017 but was reinstated last year

England captain Joe Root is set to miss the first Test against West Indies next week to attend the birth of his second child.

The Test begins on 8 July and limits on player movements for the bio-secure matches mean Root will be unable to leave and immediately rejoin the squad.

Ben Stokes is set to captain England for the first time in Root’s absence.

On Saturday, Root backed the all-rounder’s ability to lead the side, describing him as a “natural leader”.

“He’s very well equipped to do a fantastic job for us,” Root told the BBC.

A Black Lives Matter logo, which includes a clenched fist, will be worn on the collars of West Indies players’ shirts

West Indies players will wear a Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts during the series.

The logo has also been worn by Premier League footballers in recent weeks in support of the anti-racism movement following the death of George Floyd in the United States, which led to global protests.

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died after being restrained by a white Minneapolis police officer on 25 May.

“We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness,” West Indies captain Jason Holder said.

“This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team.

“We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality.”

England players will wear a logo on their shirts paying tribute to NHS workers and are also likely to have a Black Lives Matter logo.

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