Joe Root steps down as England Test captain

Joe Root steps down as England Test captain | Acrux Sports

Joe Root has stepped down as England's Test captain, the ECB said in a statement on Friday (April 15).

The resignation marks the end of Root's reign that began in 2017, and saw him lead the Test side in most matches (64) and record most wins in the format during his tenure (27) as England captain.

Under Root's captaincy, England won 4-1 against India at home in 2018 and registered a 3-1 triumph away in South Africa in 2020. In 2018, Root also became 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 2021.

However, Root steps down after a rather tough 14 months in-charge of the red-ball side which multiple Test defeats to India home and away, a 0-4 Ashes humiliation in Australia, the failure to make the Test Championship finale, and most recently, a 0-1 loss in the three-match series in West Indies, which eventually proved to be the tipping point for Root.

"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. "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 want to take this opportunity to thank my family, Carrie, Alfred and Bella, who have lived it all with me and been incredible pillars of love and support throughout. All of the players, coaches and support staff that have helped me during my tenure. It has been a great privilege to have been with them on this journey.

"I would also like to thank all the England supporters for their unwavering support. We are lucky to have the best fans in the world, and wherever we play, that positivity is something we always cherish and admire, which is a huge drive for all of us out there.

"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 is currently England's second highest Test run scorer of all time, behind only Cook, and has 14 centuries as the team's captain. His tally of 5295 runs as skipper is the highest by any England captain and puts him fifth in the all-time list behind Graeme Smith, Alan Border, Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli.

"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," said Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer. "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."