Winning back vice-captaincy was logical next step for Ben Stokes, Ashley Giles says

Ben Stokes celebrates his breakthrough Getty Images

Ashley Giles believes Ben Stokes' reinstatement as England vice-captain ahead of the Ashes is the logical next step in his development as a Test allrounder.

In announcing their 14-man squad for the first Test against Australia starting at Edgbaston August 1, the ECB also revealed chairman Colin Graves had approved Stokes' re-appointment on the recommendation of Ashley Giles and chief executive Tom Harrison.

Stokes had been stripped of the role during investigations into the fight outside a Bristol night club in 2017, over which he was ultimately found not guilty of affray. Stokes subsequently faced an ECB disciplinary hearing, which resulted in him being fined and banned for eight international matches in December 2018, a punishment that he had already served in missing five months of cricket, including the 2017-18 Ashes.

Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, said Stokes was highly respected within the team environment.

"He is a natural leader and has a great understanding of the game," Giles said. "He will offer tremendous support to Joe Root as part of the senior playing group.

"Over the past 18 months, he has come a long way and has shown a great degree of maturity on and off the field.

"I have no doubts that the added responsibility will also help him to continue his rise as a world class all-rounder in the Test arena."

Stokes will take over the vice-captaincy from Jos Buttler.

Stokes scored in the 70s and 80s four times in his last five innings at the World Cup and was Player of the Match in the final at Lord's after guiding England's run-chase with an unbeaten 84 from 98 balls, as well as adding a crucial 8 from 3 in the decisive Super Over.

Jofra Archer, who is in line to make his Test debut after also being named in England's Ashes squad, credited Stokes with offering some calming words when he was chosen to bowl to New Zealand in their Super Over, with Stokes having been through a similar experience - although with a different outcome - when charged with bowling the final over of the 2016 T20 World Cup final against West Indies in Kolkata.

"If we had lost today, I don't know what I would have done tomorrow," Archer said at the time. "But Ben Stokes told me even before the over: 'Win or lose, today does not define you. Everyone believes in you.' He came to talk to me because of Kolkata. He probably went through the same emotions but was on the losing side."