Joe Root steps down as England Test captain

Batter resigns after series defeats to Australia and West Indies in a painful winter for English cricket

Joe Root has stepped down as England Test captain following successive series defeats to Australia and the West Indies. Reuters
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Joe Root has resigned as captain of England's Test team.

The batter becomes the latest departure in a miserable winter for English cricket. A thrashing by Australia in the Ashes led to the exits of the director of cricket, Ashley Giles, and head coach, Chris Silverwood.

Root survived the inquest into that series loss, but has now decided to step down after the subsequent defeat to the West Indies in the Caribbean.

“After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England Men’s Test captain," Root said in a statement.

"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 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."

Since taking charge in 2017 as Alastair Cook's successor, Root led England in a record 64 Tests. His 27 wins and 26 defeats as captain are also records.

Root is England's second-highest test run-scorer of all time behind Cook and his tally of 5,295 runs as skipper is the highest by an England captain.

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Updated: April 15, 2022, 9:13 AM