Root steps down as England Test captain

By Sports Desk April 15, 2022

Joe Root has called an end to his England Test captaincy.

Root was appointed as the successor to Alastair Cook in 2017 and holds the record for most wins as an England captain in the longest format of the game (27).

But disappointing returns in recent outings, with England winless in five Test series, brought Root's tenure into question.

Head coach Chris Silverwood was sacked in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing by Australia before a series loss to West Indies under interim coach Paul Collingwood.

The ECB are expected to soon announce a new managing director to shape the future of English cricket, and Root confirmed on Friday that he would not take up the captaincy for any longer.

He said: "After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England Men's Test captain. It has been the most challenging decision I have had to make in my career but having discussed this with my family and those closest to me; I know the timing is right.  

"I am immensely proud to have captained my country and will look back on the past five years with enormous pride. It has been an honour to have done the job and to have been a custodian of what is the pinnacle of English cricket.  

"I have loved leading my country, but recently it's hit home how much of a toll it has taken on me and the impact it has had on me away from the game.   

"I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, Carrie, Alfred and Bella, who have lived it all with me and been incredible pillars of love and support throughout. All of the players, coaches and support staff that have helped me during my tenure. It has been a great privilege to have been with them on this journey.  

"I would also like to thank all the England supporters for their unwavering support. We are lucky to have the best fans in the world, and wherever we play, that positivity is something we always cherish and admire, which is a huge drive for all of us out there.  

"I am excited to continue representing the Three Lions and producing performances that will enable the team to succeed. I look forward to helping the next captain, my teammates and coaches in whatever way I can."

England have won only one of their last 17 Test matches, while Root also suffered more defeats than any other captain of his country in red-ball cricket (26).

Ben Stokes, Root's vice-captain, Rory Burns, Stuart Broad and Jos Buttler are among the favourites to lead a new-look England against New Zealand in a Test series that starts in June.

Tom Harrison, the ECB's chief executive who will be tasked with finding a new managing director, head coach, selector and Test captain before New Zealand visit, hailed the efforts of Root.

"Joe has been an exceptional role model during his tenure, balancing the demands of Test captaincy whilst continuing to shine brilliantly through his own personal performances," he said.

"He has led by example, and that has resulted in more Test wins than any other England captain, alongside a number of famous series home and away victories.   
  
"Joe's leadership qualities were exemplified by how he led the team through some of the most difficult and uncertain times we have known, playing during the pandemic all over the world, which speaks volumes for him as a leader and as a person.   

"I know that every single person who has played or worked under Joe's captaincy will speak of his integrity and humility as a person, as much as his determination and example as a leader. 

"Off the field, Joe has been no different. It has been a privilege and a huge pleasure to have worked with him in his capacity as our men's Test captain, and I know he'll continue to drive English cricket forward as a senior player, offering his wealth of experience and advice to support his successor."

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