England have retained their all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson as vice-captain ahead of returning all-rounder Ben Stokes for their upcoming two-match Test series in New Zealand.
Stokes was appointed England’s Test vice-captain last year but was replaced by Anderson for this winter’s Ashes after he was suspended due to his alleged involvement in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
The 26-year-old is back in the England fold for the New Zealand series after his suspension was lifted once he was charged with affray but he has not been asked to resume the vice-captaincy, with veteran Anderson keeping the position.
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Anderson, the longest serving member of England’s squad, insists the extra responsibilities will not have any bearing on his performance.
“I’m delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series,” he said. “Being a vice-captain doesn’t make me behave any differently in the dressing room or on the field. It doesn’t change my role in the team a huge amount.
“I see myself as a senior player and I’m there for people if they need advice. Certainly if Joe needs help on the field, I’m there for him.”
Stokes pleaded not guilty to the charge of affray via video link to Bristol Crown Court on Monday, where he was informed the trial would start on 6 August.
England this week play two warm-ups against a New Zealand XI in Hamilton, with day one of the first starting today. The first Test begins on Thursday 22 March in Auckland.
Assistant coach Paul Farbrace, meanwhile, is believed to have turned down the opportunity to become Bangladesh head coach.