Joe Root has stepped down as England Test captain after a record five-year stint at the helm.
Root took over from Alastair Cook in 2017 and presided over 27 Test wins as skipper, breaking the previous record of 26 set by Michael Vaughan’s teams.
England have recorded series wins against India, South Africa and Sri Lanka during Root’s time as skipper, including a first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001.
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However, despite their successful run, England struggled in recent away series defeats to Australia and West Indies, ending Root’s time in charge.
“Having returned from the Caribbean tour and given time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England Men’s Test captain,” Root said in a statement.
“It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my career, but after discussing it with my family and loved ones, I know the time has come.
“I am extremely proud to have captained my country and I will look back on the last five years with enormous pride. It was an honor to have done the job and to have been the caretaker of what is the pinnacle of English cricket.
“I loved leading my country, but recently I realized how much it cost me and the impact it had on me outside the game.
“I am delighted to continue to represent the Three Lions and produce performances that will see the team succeed. I look forward to helping the next captain, my teammates and coaches in any way I can.”
It remains unclear at this stage who Root’s successor will be, with all-round star Ben Stokes widely seen as the leading candidate to be England’s next Test captain.
“Joe has been an outstanding role model during his tenure, balancing the demands of the Test captaincy while continuing to shine brightly through his own personal performance,” said ECB CEO Tom Harrison.
“He led by example, and that has resulted in more Test wins than any other England captain, as well as a number of famous home and away victories.
“Joe’s leadership qualities were exemplified by how he led the team through some of the toughest and most uncertain times we’ve seen, playing during the pandemic all over the world, which says long for him as a leader and as a person.
“I know that everyone who has played or worked under Joe will speak of his integrity and humility as a person, as much as his determination and example as a leader.
“Off the pitch, Joe has been no different. It has been a privilege and a great pleasure to work with him as captain of the men’s event, and I know he will continue to drive English cricket forward. as a senior player, offering his wealth of experience and guidance to support his successor.”
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