Ben Stokes: England captain misses training before third New Zealand Test due to illness

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Ben Stokes: England captain misses training before third New Zealand Test due to illness
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England captain Ben Stokes sat out training at Headingley on Tuesday with illness, two days out from the start of the third Test against New Zealand.

Stokes stayed away from the England camp when they joined up in Leeds on Tuesday morning, and was due to meet the rest of the group this evening. He is not yet considered a doubt for the Test.

The nature of Stokes’ illness is unclear, though a test for Covid-19 came back negative.

England have had a few days off since their remarkable win in Nottingham last week, with Stokes this weekend visiting Cockermouth CC in Cumbria, where he learned the game, with his mother Deb, who is visiting from New Zealand.

Ben Stokes was absent from England training at Headingley on Tuesday (PA)
Ben Stokes was absent from England training at Headingley on Tuesday (PA)

Stokes was named England captain in May, but has not had a designated vice-captain appointed yet. The options would be senior bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson (who has a slight ankle injury), former captain Joe Root, or perhaps Jonny Bairstow.

England lead the three-match series 2-0 after five-wicket victories at Lord’s and Trent Bridge.

New Zealand have had a series of positive Covid tests since being in England, including for players Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson, Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell. They have all overcome the virus and are set to be available for the third Test in Yorkshire.

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