Joe Root QUITS as captain of England's Test team

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Joe Root QUITS as captain of England’s Test team after a miserable run of just one win in 17 matches and five straight series defeats – with Ben Stokes a leading contender to replace him

  • Joe Root has stepped down as England’s Test captain following poor results
  • England have won only one of 17 Test matches with five straight series losses
  • He was under severe pressure following recent 1-0 series loss in Caribbean
  • That came quickly after another Ashes debacle and home losses last year
  • Ben Stokes will be among the favourites to succeed Root as England skipper 

Joe Root today stepped down as England captain after making what he describes as ‘the most challenging decision of my career.’

Root was adamant after England’s defeat in the Caribbean that he wanted to carry on in charge but with England having won only one of their last 17 Tests he has bowed to the inevitable and today offered his resignation to England.

‘After returning from the Caribbean and having time to reflect I have decided to step down as England captain,’ said Root in an ECB 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 the 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 team-mates and coaches in whatever way I can.’ 

Joe Root has quit as England's Test captain following a terrible run of results in recent months

Joe Root has quit as England’s Test captain following a terrible run of results in recent months

Root, 31, was under intense pressure following England's series defeat in the West Indies

Root, 31, was under intense pressure following England’s series defeat in the West Indies 

Root bows out holding the record for the most number of matches and wins as England men’s captain. 

His 27 victories put him ahead of Michael Vaughan, Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew Strauss.

Now England have the considerable challenge of replacing him. Ben Stokes is the only viable candidate among the current team but there are strong reservations about giving him the job, particularly after he took a break from the game last year to protect his mental health.

Outside of the current squad candidates are few and far between but Sam Billings, James Vince and even Somerset’s Tom Abell may come into the frame. 

There could also be a chance of Stuart Broad coming out of exile to become a short term option.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: ‘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.

‘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 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.’ 

More to follow. 

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