Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Root quits as England test cricket captain after five years

AP – Joe Root (AP; pic below) stepped down as England’s test cricket captain yesterday ending his five-year spell in a role that became increasingly challenging because of the team’s long run of series defeats – including 4-0 in the Ashes over the winter.

“I have loved leading my country,” Root said, “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”.

Root leaves his post holding the record for the number of wins as England test captain – at 27 – while his status as one of the world’s leading batters is secure after scoring eight centuries since the turn of 2021.

However, his captaincy has come under scrutiny with England having only won just one of its last 17 test matches – the country’s worst run since the 1980s.

Losing heavily in Australia, England’s biggest rival, was followed last month with a 1-0 series defeat to the West Indies. That made it four series defeats in a row – and it could be five unless England can beat India in July in the remaining test left over from their unfinished series from last year.

“It has been the most challenging decision I have had to make in my career,” said the 31-year-old Root, who took over as captain from Alastair Cook in 2017, “but having discussed this with my family and those closest to me; I know the timing is right”.