Joe Root resigns as England Test captain after five years in charge

Joe Root has resigned as England Test captain on the back of a series defeat in the West Indies after five years in the job;

Root leaves the role having led the side in 64 Tests, more than any other. And on 27 occasions he took his team to victory, an England record. However the last year in the role has been little short of a horror show as England lost 11 and won just once in their last 17 matches.

Series defeats to India, New Zealand, Australia and the West Indies have seen the red ball side slip to the bottom of the World Test Championship table with Root overseeing his 26th defeat as skipper in Grenada, also an England record.

The 31-year-old will continue to play his part in the team as a world class batsman but his time in charge is at an end after reflecting on how poorly the side had played in the 4-0 Ashes defeat Down Under, followed by another hammer blow in the Caribbean.

Root 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 has 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."

Right up until the end of the West Indies tour, Root had appeared determined to stay on in the job, believing he remained the best man to lead the side out of their current funk.

But with a new head coach to be appointed by a new managing director yet to be appointed, the departure of Root as captain now allows England to start afresh with a clean slate as they try to rebuild the Test team from the ground up.

And whoever takes over will at least have the services of a responsibility free Root to plunder yet more runs in the England top order as he looks to set a new bar with the bat.

England chief executive Tom Harrison added: “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 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."

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