Michael Atherton wants Ben Stokes to take the opportunity to "grab hold" of the dressing room if England are still without a head coach in his first Test as captain against New Zealand.

Stokes was last week confirmed as the successor to Joe Root, who ended his long reign as skipper following a nightmare Ashes series in Australia and subsequent disappointment in the Caribbean. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are not due to start interviewing for both a Test and limited-overs head coach until next week, with Chris Silverwood sacked after the 4-0 hammering Down Under.

England start a three-match Test series against the Black Caps at Lord's on June 2 and former skipper Atherton believes Stokes can stamp his authority on the side in the absence of a head coach.

He told Sky Sports News: "Ben Stokes will be his own man; he has got a chance to shape that team now and take it in a different direction.

"There may not be a coach in place in time. These things go through a process; I think May 6 is when job applications close and June 2 is the first Test match. That's quite tight.

"That's not a bad thing in my view. I don't think since Sir Andrew Strauss that an England captain has really grabbed hold of a dressing room.

"If there is no coach in there, it will be a chance for Ben to absolutely grab hold of it, mould the team and say 'this is the way we're going to run things.'

"When [Paul] Farbrace was interim coach before [Trevor] Bayliss came in, that was actually when Stokes came back into the side, so it's not a disaster if a coach is not in place by June 2."

Atherton is fully behind the decision to split coaching duties, but did not specify who he wants to take over from Silverwood.

The former opening batter added: "Who should it be? My goodness, all of the candidates that have been talked about are very good. Gary Kirsten is a very good candidate, Simon Katich an excellent candidate. There will be any number of people.

"It's the right thing though to split, or look to split, the job. Years ago I said on Sky that England needed to consider split coaching roles. You look at the schedules now, they are so crammed, it's very difficult for one man to do everything.

"In the middle of the summer, England will be in Amsterdam for some one-day internationals in the middle of a Test series. How does one man plan for that? It's impossible.

"Last year when England were in Dubai playing the T20 World Cup, the Ashes were coming up two weeks later. Impossible.

"Looking to split responsibilities is exactly the right way to go. Two distinct coaching staffs for Test cricket and limited-overs cricket, that will make life much easier."

Reggae Girlz striker Khadija Shaw scored four goals to help Manchester City Women secure a 7-2 hammering of Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Women’s Super League at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Saturday.

Shaw, who now has eight goals in 15 matches this season in the WSL, scored her goals in the 3rd, 12th, 57th and 61st minutes to help her Manchester City team move to third in the table with 41 points from 20 matches.

“The team looks to me to score goals so to get four today is an unbelievable feeling,” Shaw said in a post-match interview.

The other City goals came from Caroline Weir in the 16th, Alex Greenwood in the 68th and Lauren Hemp in the 69th minute.

Chelsea currently leads the WSL with 50 points from 20 matches followed by Arsenal with 46 points from 19 matches.

Ben Stokes has told England chiefs he wants James Anderson and Stuart Broad back in the Test team under his captaincy.

The new skipper believes it is too soon to dispense with the fast-bowling expertise of the duo who between them have taken 1,177 wickets in the five-day international game.

Broad, 35, looks set to add to his 152 caps, and 39-year-old Anderson can expect to boost his total of 169 Test appearances in the upcoming series against New Zealand.

That is set to mark Stokes' debut as England's new full-time Test captain, with the first match beginning on June 2 at Lord's.

Joe Root's successor made it an urgent matter when he spoke to new England managing director Rob Key, after the pace pair were left out for the recent West Indies series and used sparingly in the Ashes.

"When I met Ben Stokes the other day, one of the first things he said was, 'Jimmy and Broady are back'," Key said.

"I said, 'Absolutely, no problem'. Now that might have been a bit of a problem if I didn't think that, but I was on exactly the same page.

"That wasn't much of a debate, we both agreed. I sat with Broady a week and a half ago and Jimmy last night. They're both keen and ready to go."

Ben Stokes has been appointed as England Test captain following Joe Root's resignation.

Root led his country in the longest format for just over five years, but brought his long reign to an end this month following an abysmal run of just one win in 17 matches.

Stokes has agreed to step up from his role as vice-captain after holding talks with new managing director of men's cricket Rob Key.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved the appointment of Stokes on Tuesday after Key recommended the 30-year-old for the job.

All-rounder Stokes said: "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer.

"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world.

"He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room, and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role."

 

Key, who started his role this month with plenty of issues to address, said: "I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.

"He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

Stokes' first match as skipper will be when a series against New Zealand starts at Lord's on June 2.

England should also have appointed a new Test head coach by the time they face the Black Caps after Chris Silverwood was sacked in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

The ECB has opted to appoint separate head coaches for the Test and limited-overs teams.

Gary Kirsten, Simon Katich, Tom Moody and Graham Ford are among the names to be linked with the Test job.

Ben Stokes has been appointed as England Test captain following Joe Root's resignation.

Root led his country in the longest format for just over five years, but brought his long reign to an end this month following an abysmal run of just one win in 17 matches.

Stokes has agreed to step up from his role as vice-captain after holding talks with new managing director of men's cricket Rob Key.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved the appointment of Stokes on Tuesday after Key recommended the 30-year-old for the job.

All-rounder Stokes said: "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer.

"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world.

"He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room, and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role."

 

Key, who started his role this month with plenty of issues to address, said: "I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.

"He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

Stokes' first match as skipper will be when a series against New Zealand starts at Lord's on June 2.

England should also have appointed a new Test head coach by the time they face the Black Caps after Chris Silverwood was sacked in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

The ECB has opted to appoint separate head coaches for the Test and limited-overs teams.

Gary Kirsten, Simon Katich, Tom Moody and Graham Ford are among the names to be linked with the Test job.

The England and Wales Cricket (ECB) has restarted the search for a new chair following failure to find a suitable candidate.

Barry O'Brien has been operating as the interim chair since October, when Ian Watmore stepped down following a wave of coronavirus-related challenges and scrutiny for cancelling England's tour of Pakistan.

However, the ECB confirmed O'Brien has now resigned from the role due to ill health, with deputy chair Martin Darlow to take charge while the board search for a permanent appointment.

A statement read from the ECB read: "The ECB board met last night [Tuesday] and has agreed to restart the process for recruiting its next permanent chair.

"Following an ongoing process involving a number of strong candidates undertaking interviews with both the nominations committee and a cricket panel it was felt that no single candidate was able to fully meet the criteria to become next chair.

"In light of this, the board decided that the process should now be restarted. A new nominations committee will be appointed, chaired by senior independent director Brenda Trenowden, to run the new process."

The announcement comes at a time of wholesale change within English cricket, with Rob Key confirmed as the new managing director of men's cricket to replace Andrew Strauss, who had been in interim charge.

The ECB is advertising for separate coaches for the vacant Test and limited-overs roles following the dismissal of Chris Silverwood, with Gary Kirsten, Simon Katich and Graham Ford among the favourites for the red-ball side.

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes is widely expected to be appointed as England's Test captain following the resignation of skipper Joe Root earlier in April.

England start their next Test series against New Zealand on June 2, while they begin an ODI series versus the Netherlands on June 17.

Former England international and British and Irish Lion Tom Youngs has announced his retirement from rugby.

The hooker had not appeared for Leicester Tigers this season after taking an indefinite period of leave at the start of the campaign to care for his ill wife.

Now, Youngs – the brother of Ben, England's most capped player, and the son of Nick, another ex-international – is calling time on his career.

The 35-year-old appeared 28 times for his country and in three Lions Tests during the 2013 tour of Australia.

"I had always planned around this season being my last and I am comfortable with the timing of it now," Youngs said.

He added: "I want to thank my family for all that they have done to help me achieve what I have been able to do throughout my career.

"My mum, my dad, my brother and all of my extended family, I am so lucky to have them.

"Finally, to my wife Tiff and daughter Maisie, I am lucky to have you alongside me and would not be where I am without you. Thank you both."

Carlos Brathwaite is playing club cricket for Knowle and Dorridge in Birmingham ahead of a stint as captain of Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast and he endured a debut to forget this weekend.

West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite had a day to forget after making his debut for Birmingham & District Premier League side Knowle and Dorridge Cricket Club.

Brathwaite, who memorably guided the West Indies to victory in the 2016 T20 World Cup with a brutal final over assault on Ben Stokes, is set to captain Birmingham Bears in this year's T20 Blast. And with the competition getting underway next month, the all-rounder is taking the opportunity to get in some game time with Knowle and Dorridge first as he returns from a shoulder injury which forced him to undergo surgery.

Over the Easter weekend, Brathwaite debuted for the club in a 50-over match against Leamington Cricket Club. However, things could not have gone much worse for the 33-year-old.

While bowling for the first time in six months due to his injury, Brathwaite was unable to pick up a wicket and conceded 31 runs from his four overs, making him the most expensive Knowle and Dorridge bowler. He then holed out for a first ball duck while batting as his side lost the match by 12 runs.

Brathwaite later tweeted about the match, revealing that his car had also been stolen. "What a day yesterday," he wrote.

"First time bowling in a game after injury for six months - First ball duck from a long hop - Car stolen but you know what, woke up this morning, Sun is shining and giving thanks. Happy Easter to all."

The 2022 Vitality Blast will run from May 22-July 16.

 

Stuart Broad has distanced himself from speculation he could succeed Joe Root as captain of the England Test team.

Yorkshire batsman Root announced he was stepping down from the role earlier this week, having led the side to both a record number of victories and defeats during his tenure.

Broad, who sat out the recent series defeat in the West Indies as part of a much-vaunted "red ball reset", is the third most-capped player in England Test history, with 152 matches.

It has been mooted England could turn to Broad, at least in the short term, to replace Root but the star paceman is not sure that scenario will play out.

"Naturally, I am aware that my name has been touted as a potential successor to Joe as England captain," Broad wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

"I guess that is because I am an experienced centrally contracted player who has been around the international game a long time. However, it is not something I have given any thought.

"I am not currently in possession of a shirt within the England Test team and my focus is very much on changing that by taking wickets for Nottinghamshire over the next few weeks.

"In fact, I would argue we are in a fairly unique position as far as selection for the Test team goes right now in that there are only two players whose names you could write in pen on the scorecard.

"One of them is Joe Root, the other is Ben Stokes - and one of them isn't going to be captain for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2 because he has just given the job away."

Despite his assertions, Broad remains one of the likelier candidates to succeed Root within the wider Test squad, due to the lack of logical options.

Stokes has previously ruled himself out of the position, while former skipper Alastair Cook remains the only player still at county level to have previously led the side in Test cricket.

England will play three Tests against New Zealand in June to kick off their summer, before subsequent series' with India and South Africa.

Ben Stokes is the only candidate to replace Joe Root as England's Test captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

Root's record-breaking stint as captain was ended on Friday when he stepped down after a dismal run of results.

England have lost five consecutive Test series, winning just one of their past 17 matches under Root.

Root, who will remain in the team as one of cricket's elite batsmen, has overseen more Test matches (64), wins (27) and losses (26) than any other England skipper.

Attention is now turning to who might take on the role next, but England's poor performances and inconsistent team selections provide few obvious alternatives.

Superstar all-rounder Stokes is among the favourites, though, and that is who Vaughan would turn to.

"I don't see anyone else who could take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side," Vaughan told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast.

"In Ben Stokes, you have clearly got someone who has got a smart cricket brain, he's going to give it everything, he is certainly going to have the respect of the players around him."

However, Vaughan added a word of caution: "Stokes is everything in a person and a player that you would want, but he will need a lot of support around him, because when you have got that all-rounder tag and they've got that persona, they think they can do everything.

"You need a senior core around him to give him a few pointers.

"You need to have someone say, 'listen Ben, just concentrate on what you're really good at', and that's out on the field, making decisions and trying to just give us your best performance.

"If he performs like we know he can, he will lead the team by example."

Stokes has captained England in only a single Test match previously, scoring 43 and 46 with the bat while taking 4-49 and 2-39 with the ball in a four-wicket defeat at home to West Indies in July 2020.

James Anderson hailed Joe Root for balancing the stresses of captaincy and becoming one of the world's greatest batters, after the England Test skipper stepped down on Friday.

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

However, Yorkshireman Root also holds the record for the most losses as skipper of his country (26), and decided to resign following a 4-0 Ashes thrashing and 1-0 series defeat against West Indies.

A new-look England side left out Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have 1,177 Test dismissals between them, for the latter series as the tourists made it just one win in their last 17 red-ball outings.

Root's side are also without victory in their last five series, but Anderson praised his team-mate of many years for the balancing act he has managed between captaincy and his batting.

Indeed, despite England's struggles in red-ball cricket, Root racked up 1,708 runs in 2021 – the most ever by an England player in a calendar year and third-most by any player in history.

"It's been a pleasure to be part of Joe Root's England side," Anderson wrote on Instagram.

"The way he's managed to balance the responsibilities and stresses of leading the team while also becoming one of the world's greatest batters has been extraordinary.

"He is an incredible ambassador for the sport and I can't wait to see him back out in the middle where I'm certain he'll cement himself as one of the all-time greats."

Anderson will be hoping he can join Root on the field when England host New Zealand, with the first Test starting on June 2, as the 39-year-old seamer looks to return after his West Indies omission.

One argument for not removing Joe Root as England Test captain was the seeming lack of credible replacements to take over the responsibility.

Well, that became a none issue on Good Friday when it was announced Root had stood down from the position after winning 27 Test matches as skipper – a record for an England captain.

His tenure came under question after England failed to win in five straight series and now the hunt is on for the Yorkshireman's successor.

Stats Perform have evaluated the most likely candidates to do so.

BEN STOKES

Already England's vice-captain and surely the top replacement to fill the void. It is hard to look beyond Stokes, not least because – aside from Root – he is about the only shoo-in for the Test side. So often England's saviour, the star all-rounder has 5,061 runs and 174 wickets from 79 Tests (averaging 35.89 with the bat, and 32.12 with the ball). A recent four-month hiatus, in which Stokes cited mental health reasons, may raise questions as to whether he will want to take on the job, but he certainly appears to be the frontrunner.

JOS BUTTLER

Buttler's main issue, like so many in the red-ball team, is that his place in the side is far from assured. Having said that, Buttler has been a big part of the leadership team in white-ball cricket and the attack-minded wicketkeeper-batsman may thrive if given the opportunity to lead his country in the five-day game. With 2,907 runs and a couple of Test centuries to his name, Buttler could be the one England turn to next.

STUART BROAD

The decision to drop Broad and James Anderson – the former second only to the latter in England's list of all-time leading Test wicket takers – from the recent series in the West Indies was met with complete bemusement. Admittedly, at the age of 35 Broad is in the twilight of his Test career but he could certainly provide a good short-term option until a more viable solution emerges. He has previously captained England in the T20 format too.

RORY BURNS

Recently dropped from the Test team, Burns is maybe more of an outside shot but perhaps with the added responsibility of captaincy he could cement a place in the team. Burns has proved his cricketing nous by leading Surrey to the County Championship in 2018. Burns would need to start scoring consistent runs at the top of the order, though.

JONNY BAIRSTOW

Bairstow has no shortage of grit and desire. Moreover, he was the only England player to score a century in the Ashes debacle and also made a valiant hundred in the first Test against the Windies, which helped secure a draw in that match. However, Bairstow often finds himself in a battle to even make the team. Ollie Pope's emergence means he is not a shoo-in as a middle-order batman, while he is up against Buttler and Ben Foakes to play wicketkeeper.

There was a sense of inevitability about the impending resignation of England Test captain Joe Root.

Yorkshireman Root repeatedly reiterated his commitment to leading his country in the face of adversity, echoing his desire to continue after a 4-0 hammering in Australia and 1-0 series loss to West Indies.

The latter defeat made it five Test series without a win for England under Root, who has managed just one victory in his past 17 international red-ball outings as skipper.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the duo with 1,177 Test dismissals between them, were also omitted for the tour to the Caribbean as a new-look England side struggled as many of their predecessors had in recent years.

The ECB are now without a managing director, head coach, selector or Test captain ahead of a series against New Zealand, starting in June, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler among the favourite skipper replacements.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the highs and lows of Root's stewardship, which came to an end on Friday.

Perfect Proteas start – 2017

Root could not have dreamt of a better start to international captaincy following his appointment as skipper, replacing Alastair Cook – England's leading run-scorer in Test cricket (12,472).

England ran out comfortable victors against South Africa in the first Test at Lord's in July 2017 under Root, who crafted a magnificent 190.

The hosts slipped to defeat in the following meeting with the Proteas, with Root conceding his honeymoon period was already over, but responded to claim a 3-1 series defeat over Faf du Plessis' tourists.

Root accumulated 461 runs in the series, 131 more than his nearest challenger and Yorkshire colleague Jonny Bairstow, as he averaged an impressive 57.6.

 

Joy in the Indian summer – 2018

As Root would quickly learn, any hope of success rapidly diminished when his side were to travel Down Under, with a 4-0 thrashing by Australia and a series loss to New Zealand to follow.

However, England responded in remarkable fashion against the world's number one ranked side India as they recorded a 4-1 victory and celebrated a series of milestones.

Root fell slightly short of his own standards with the bat, finishing fourth with 319 runs behind his predecessor Cook (327), Buttler (349) and visiting captain Virat Kohli (593).

Cook capped a fine international career with a ton in his final appearance at The Oval, while Anderson moved past Australian Glenn McGrath to fourth in the all-time Test dismissals list.

Despite the retirement of Cook, things were starting to look brighter for Root and Co.

Overseas success at last – 2018

Root's record overseas as captain made for poor reading before the tour to Sri Lanka, having lost five of seven Tests while drawing the other two.

But the left-field selection of spin specialist Keaton Jennings and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes proved fruitful as both recorded hundreds in the first Test win over the hosts.

Root joined in on the act with a ton in the series-clinching second meeting, before becoming the first Englishman in 55 years to secure a whitewash abroad in a series of three matches or more.

"We are not a one-trick pony in our own conditions anymore," Root said as he hailed his tourists, who were again defeated in the Caribbean on the following tour.

South Africa saviour after Ashes failure – 2019-20

The pressure was mounting on Root after losses to West Indies and failure to regain the Ashes at home.

Silverwood was appointed as the successor to Trevor Bayliss and, despite a flu bug running through the England side that lost the first Test in Centurion, the visitors battled to a series 3-1 victory.

Stokes and Bairstow led the way for the tourists, who lost Anderson to injury in the second outing and utilised newcomers Ollie Pope, Dom Bess and Mark Wood.

There was also no three-figure score for Root, but that did not matter to him as he concluded "the sky's the limit" for his youthful and promising side.

 

Stokes-less England demolished in India – 2021

COVID-19 accounted for much of cricket in 2020, when England ran out 2-1 victors against West Indies and 1-0 winners against Pakistan after Root oversaw the series win in South Africa at the start of the year.

But 2021 signalled the start of the downfall of Root, who followed up another encouraging series victory against Sri Lanka with series losses to India and then New Zealand, without Stokes, who took an indefinite break from cricket to prioritise his mental wellbeing and recovery from injury.

India then visited for a five-Test series, which they led 2-1 before a coronavirus-enforced cancellation of the final meeting as Jasprit Bumrah headed Kohli's bowling attack that tore through England.

While Root cited "small margins" as the difference in a topsy-turvy series, there was nothing competitive about Root's side when they headed Down Under again.

Ashes disappointment – 2021-22

Australia have proved a step too far for many an England captain, and Root was no different as his team collapsed in abject fashion to highlight the deficiencies of the Test side and county set-up.

Pat Cummins' rampant hosts, aided by some Scott Boland brilliance, secured the Ashes series within 12 days of cricket – longer than England were required to quarantine on their arrival Down Under.

The visitors failed to pass 300 even once, and during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, England were bowled out for 68 in their second innings.

The tourists also collapsed on the third day of the final Test in Hobart when they lost 10 second-innings wickets for just 56 runs, with only a fourth Test draw in Sydney preventing a 5-0 whitewash.

Nevertheless, Root's batting did not falter despite captaincy pressure. His 1,708 runs in Test cricket last year were the most ever by an England player – and third-most by any player in history.

 

Caribbean conclusion – 2022

Head coach Silverwood was dismissed in the wake of the Ashes thrashing, with Paul Collingwood appointed as interim coach to work with Root.

Bold calls followed as the evergreen Broad and Anderson were left out, with Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Fisher, Craig Overton, Chris Woakes and Wood the seamers to feature in the Caribbean.

Credible stalemates across the first two Tests slightly raised the incredibly low levels of optimism surrounding the Test side, but a chastening 10-wicket loss in Grenada confirmed another series defeat.

That left Root with just one win in his past 17 Tests, and he decided to call an end to his captaincy on Friday, though he outlined his intentions to carry on playing international cricket for England.

He ends with the most wins as an England Test captain (27) but also the most defeats (26).

Ben Stokes has thanked Joe Root for his "sacrifices" after the England Test captain stepped down from the role.

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).

However, disappointing returns in recent outings, with England winless in five Test series, brought Root's tenure into question, and the Yorkshireman announced he had stepped down with immediate effect on Friday.

Stokes is among the favourites to replace Root and took to Instagram shortly after the announcement to show his appreciation.

"Been a great ride with you my friend," Stokes wrote. "Watching one of my great mates lead us all out on to the field was a privilege.

"You have given everything to English cricket and we all want to say thank you for your sacrifices and hard work."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also had words of praise for Root, despite being counted among his critics in recent times.

Following the series defeat to West Indies last month, the 47-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live: "If [Root] rings me in the next week and asks for some advice, I'll be dead honest: I'd tell him to step down."

Vaughan posted on Twitter on Friday: "He gave it everything with very little support for the red ball team under his watch... then he had to deal with COVID times.

"He still is and will [be] the game's best role model for many, many years. Now enjoy being the senior player for many more seasons."

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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