Ben Stokes vows to make England “great again” as the new captain tells the Stars they have a free goal in their opener in New Zealand

BEN STOKES wants to make England’s Test team great again by giving his men license to play with freedom.

Skipper Stokes leads England into a new era in today’s first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Cricket - England Nets - Lord's Cricket Ground, London, Britain - June 1, 2022 England's Ben Stokes during the nets Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

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Cricket – England Nets – Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, Britain – June 1, 2022 England’s Ben Stokes during the nets Action Images via Reuters/Paul ChildsPhoto credit: Reuters

It is also the first game for head coach Brendon McCullum and team boss Rob Key.

Stokes said: “I want the boys to believe that if something goes wrong they won’t have black marks next to their name.

“It’s about making the boys believe that we have their backs.

“It won’t happen overnight – it’s about making the English testing team great again, which is very important to me.

“I want everyone to feel free under my captain. The word “reset” was talked about – which I don’t particularly like.

“I just see this as a complete and utterly blank canvas for this testing team.

“Everyone is starting over now – whether you’re Matt Potts, Stuart Broad or Jimmy Anderson.”

Fast bowler Potts makes his debut alongside legends Anderson and Broad – who have a combined 1,177 Test wickets.

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New Zealand opponents were crowned the inaugural World Test Champion last summer and captain Kane Williamson says they are delighted with Lord’s.

He said: “Our testing team is so excited about the five-day format.

“You certainly still see the purists getting a real kick out of red ball cricket and our team is full of people like that.

“Becoming the test winner was an amazing achievement. It’s a great excitement for us to play Test cricket.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5471473/ben-stokes-england-great-again-new-zealand-lords/ Ben Stokes vows to make England “great again” as the new captain tells the Stars they have a free goal in their opener in New Zealand

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