May 21, 2001

Stewart given England captaincy for Second Test

Alec Stewart has been appointed England captain for the second and final npower Test Match against Pakistan at Old Trafford which starts on Thursday week. Stewart took over the captaincy midway through the First Test at Lord's, when Nasser Hussain sustained a thumb injury which has ruled him out of cricket for the next three to four weeks.

Stewart said: "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to captain England on a temporary basis at Old Trafford. It's a great honour to lead your country, and I much look forward to the game".

Stewart is unworried by the prospect of adding the responsibilities of captaincy to his existing dual role of England batsman and wicketkeeper. "I had no problem with that when I was England skipper for the first time. I did all three jobs during the 1998 Test series against South Africa, which England won. And when you're put in charge of a good side that's been winning, it obviously makes captaincy that much easier."

England lead 1-0 in the series after taking just three days to beat Pakistan by an innings and 9 runs in the First Test. No decision has yet been made on who will captain England in the NatWest Triangular one-day series between England, Pakistan and Australia in June.