Joe Root has stepped down as England’s test cricket captain, ending his five-year term.
- Root said captaining the team had “taken a toll” on him
- The English side has experienced a long string of defeats recently
- Since the most recent Ashes, England’s coach and director of cricket have also stepped down
“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 — 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 side’s worst run since the 1980s.
Losing heavily in Australia 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, who took over as captain from Alastair Cook in 2017.
Root said he wanted to carry on playing for England, for whom he is the country’s second-highest run-scorer in tests behind Cook.
It leaves England’s men’s team not only without a captain, but also a coach and director of cricket after the departures of Chris Silverwood and Ashley Giles, respectively, in the wake of the Ashes.
Ben Stokes will be among the favourites to take over as captain, although the all-rounder has just returned to the team after a spell out for mental health reasons.