Joe Root has stepped down as England’s Test captain, the country’s cricket board said on Friday (April 15), succumbing to pressure from influential figures within the game following a run of poor results capped by dispiriting tours of Australia and the Caribbean. Root’s future as head of the team came increasingly under the microscope after England slumped to a 4-0 defeat Down Under last year and then went down 1-0 in a three-test series in the West Indies.
“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 issued by the board.
“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.”
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. But of his last 17 Tests in charge he won just one, as his previously outstanding form with the bat also declined.
As England Men’s Test captain:
Most Matches (64)
Most Wins (27)
Most Runs (5295)
End of an era. pic.twitter.com/RH2ioeIzNi
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) April 15, 2022
Ex-England captains Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain were among former stars of the sport who had said it was time for Root to step down.
“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 said in the statement.
(with Reuters inputs)