Joe Root on Friday announced his decision to step down as England’s Test captain. This comes following England’s Test series losses against Australia and the West Indies. In the Ashes, England faced a 0-4 drubbing and then the side lost the three-Test series against West Indies 0-1. Root is the most successful England Test skipper after having won 27 Tests, that puts him ahead of Michael Vaughan, Sir Alastair Cook, and Sir Andrew Strauss.
“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,” said Root in an official statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“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,” he added.
Root was appointed England’s skipper in 2017 as he succeeded Sir Alastair Cook. Root had led England to few famous wins, including a 4-1 home series win over India in 2018 and a 3-1 triumph away to South Africa in 2020.
In 2018 he had become the first England men’s captain to win a Test series in Sri Lanka since 2001, a feat he went on to repeat with a 2-0 victory in Sri Lanka in 2021.
Root is already England’s second highest Test run scorer of all time behind only Cook and scored 14 centuries as captain. His tally of 5,295 runs as skipper is the highest by any England captain and puts him 5th in the all-time list behind Graeme Smith, Alan Border, Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli.
“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,” said Root.
“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,” he added.
England will next square off against New Zealand in the three-match Test series, beginning June at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
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