Cricket: Joe Root explains decision to resign as England Test captain

Joe Root has resigned as England Test captain (Pictures: Getty/AP)

Joe Root has resigned as England Test captain in the aftermath of his side’s series defeat against West Indies.

The 31-year-old, who took over from Sir Alastair Cook in 2017, holds the record for the most number of matches and wins as England captain.

But the Yorkshireman also holds the record for the most number of losses while in charge of the team following a dismal run which has seen the side win just one of their last 17 Tests.

England slumped to a 10-wicket defeat in the series decider against West Indies in March, following a 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia over the winter.

Root said: ‘After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England 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.

Root holds the record for the most wins and losses as England captain (Picture: Getty)

‘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.’

Root said he wanted to stay on after the West Indies defeat but has had a change of heart ahead of this summer’s Tests against New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton were among those to call for Root to be replaced after the Caribbean tour.

Root added: ‘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.’

Root remained a prolific run-scorer throughout his captaincy (Picture: Getty)

While England’s results fell away towards the end of Root’s tenure, he remained one of the most prolific run-scorers in the world throughout his captaincy and is already the country’s second highest Test run-scorer behind Cook.

Root scored 14 centuries as skipper, with his tally of 5,295 runs the highest by any England captain and the fifth best of all time.

England and Wales Cricket Board 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.

‘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.’

Root led England to a 4-1 series win over India in 2018 and a 3-1 win in South Africa at the start of 2020. Under his captaincy, England won two away series in Sri Lanka.

His notable series losses include two heavy Ashes defeats in Australia, in 2017-18 and 2021-22. England were also beaten at home by New Zealand last summer.

The ECB have not confirmed who will replace Root but vice-captain Ben Stokes and veteran pace bowler Stuart Broad are two of the more realistic options.

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