Root eyes 'unbelievable memories' with England ahead of Ashes and World Cup title defence

By Sports Desk April 26, 2023

Joe Root is plotting to make "unbelievable memories" with England this year ahead of The Ashes and their Cricket World Cup title defence.

The former Test captain has eschewed red-ball cricket with Yorkshire in order to play a debut season in the white-ball Indian Premier League.

In a Rajasthan Royals side packed with talent such as fellow England man Jos Buttler and India's Ravichandran Ashwin, though, he is yet to play a game.

Root is unconcerned, however, seeing his time in the IPL as key to broadening his all-round game before two major contests later this year.

"When I was England captain, I didn't feel it was fair on the rest of the team for me to go and play, given what the [Test captaincy] role needed and what it deserved," he told Sky Sports News.

"Now I feel like there are more opportunities to do that without the responsibility, and I'm just trying to look to keep developing as a player. I love county cricket and I think it is so important for the English game.

"[But] looking ahead to the rest of the year, the chance to play white ball cricket out in India, ahead of a World Cup for England in these conditions as well, I think will benefit me hugely.

"You look at 2019 and how incredible that was with a World Cup and [The] Ashes. There are so many opportunities for players to do wonderful things and create unbelievable memories.

"They are the things that you play for, to be a part of some special memories and cool experiences and they certainly all lay ahead for us."

England will face Australia for the first time since Root stepped down from the captaincy, with successor Ben Stokes overseeing a dramatic turnaround in fortunes.

They will then return to India for the latest edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup, which they famously won in a dramatic Super Over finale against New Zealand in 2019.

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