Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen believes Ben Stokes “has the personality” to captain the Test side, but he also believes the 30-year-old all-rounder will need a leadership group to complement him as he seeks to restore the side’s glory days.
Stokes was appointed England captain after Joe Root resigned following the 0-4 Ashes defeat in Australia, and England chief coach Chris Silverwood resigned following the 0-4 Ashes defeat in Australia. The Test team’s lacklustre performance in recent years has been blamed on both the players and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) top brass.
While England has the “right personnel in charge,” Pietersen believes the entire cricket structure needs a “shake-up” to get the team out of its “doom-and-gloom” situation.
“Being appointed as England Test captain is an incredible honour. Ben Stokes and his family will be incredibly proud and rightly so. I’m a firm believer that the England team needs a leadership group with some gravitas and personality,” said Pietersen on Betway Insider.
England recently named Rob Key as the new managing director of the England men’s team, and the former cricketer was pleased with the news.
“I enjoyed hearing Rob Key talking about getting the best coaching system in place to change the mentality of the team. It’s been so doom and gloom, the cricket’s been poor and the results have been rubbish. The whole thing needs a shake-up. They’ve got to get the right personnel in charge, above the team, to make sure that the environment is right.
“Key is a good start, Stokes has the personality to captain the side, and personally I would love to see (South Africa’s) Graham Ford come in as Test coach to complete the brain trust. He is an incredible man manager and he’ll work with every player all day long. He’ll give you throwdowns until dark and you can ring him at 2am with any issue. He’s a fabulous leader who understands the game of cricket like no other.
“Ultimately, though, Stokes and the new coach will be hamstrung until a radical overhaul of the system improves the quality of players coming through. It will be difficult until then, but I wish Stokes the best of luck,” added Pietersen.
(Inputs from IANS)