Ben Stokes asked to be reinstated as England Test vice-captain
"The Ashes and getting to world No 1 are our goals. How we are going to do that is by winning away"
Last Updated: 15/11/19 6:48pm
Ben Stokes has revealed that his reinstatement as England vice-captain came after he asked ECB chief executive Tom Harrison via a text message to give him back the role.
Stokes became Joe Root's Test deputy once again ahead of the Ashes this summer, having lost the position in the wake of the Bristol incident in 2017.
The 28-year-old - whose superb unbeaten century at Headingley saw England to a remarkable one-wicket win over Australia in the third Test - said: "It means a lot to me to be Joe's second-hand man so to get it taken away was obviously disappointing.
"I felt I'd been in the team for a good period and playing some good cricket, so I thought to myself 'this is probably the best time to put myself out there and ask someone the question that I probably wouldn't naturally do'.
"It's one of the biggest series a cricketer gets to play in so I thought 'I have nothing to lose here'. I gave it a go and thankfully it worked. On the day I got told I was vice-captain, it was a really good day."
Stokes is currently with the England team in New Zealand where a two-Test series, comprising matches in Mount Maunganui and Hamilton, begins on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event from 9pm.
England are third in the Test rankings - one spot behind the Kiwis - but are targeting topping the standings under new head coach Chris Silverwood, who has succeeded Trevor Bayliss.
Stokes says winning back the Ashes in Australia in 2021-2022 is also a major goal and knows that to complete both objectives England must improve away from home.
England have won only two of their last seven series on the road, in South Africa and Sri Lanka, and were hammered 4-0 in Australia in the previous away Ashes in 2017-18.
"It's something we want to improve on. We've been a little bit hit and miss going away from home and series away from home are where the best teams in the world really show their colours," added Stokes.
"We really want to be that. We had a chat the other day stating what our goals are for the next two or three years and obviously the Ashes and getting to world No 1 is a big part of that.
"How we are going to do that is by winning away."
Watch day one of the first Test between New Zealand and England, at Bay Oval in Tauranga, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 9pm on Wednesday.