The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that Joe Root will replace Alastair Cook, who has stepped down last week after four years and 59 Test at the helm, as the new England Test captain. Ben Stokes has also been named as his vice-captain.
Root, in his meeting last week with Andrew Strauss, England’s director of cricket, was offered the job over the weekend which he duly obliged. But he will have to wait for five months before he leads England against South Africa in July.
“It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy,” Root said. “I feel privileged, humbled and very excited.
“We have a very good group of players and I’m looking forward to leading them out in the summer, building on Alastair’s achievements and making the most of our talents in the years ahead.
“The senior guys in the changing room play a very influential role and whilst there’s a natural progression for me it’s a huge support to know that they are there to help and advise.”
Root had been the frontrunner in the captaincy race and was the most probable choice to captain England in the upcoming away Ashes series, which will take place in next Australian summer.
“Joe is the right man to be our next Test Captain and I’m thrilled that he has accepted the role,” said Director of Cricket and former skipper Andrew Strauss.
“He is universally respected by his team mates, passionate about driving the Test team forward and extremely excited about the prospect of leading his country.
“I’m also delighted that Ben Stokes will take over from Joe as vice-captain of the team. He has real presence and influence within the team environment that serve as a great source of support for Joe.
“I have no doubts that the responsibility will also help Ben to continue his rapid rise as a world class all-rounder.”
The ECB chairman, Colin Graves, also thinks that Joe Root is the ‘perfect choice’ to be the England’s 80th Test captain.
“When I spoke to him last night you could feel the excitement and sense the pride – he can’t wait to get started,” Graves said.
“Joe is a fine player and a fine person who has the respect of the players, the selectors and all at the ECB. He also has a changing room with experienced players and leaders who will support him from the start.
“The role of Test captain is an honour and a responsibility which he thoroughly deserves. Joe has maturity beyond his years and having seen him develop at Yorkshire over the last ten years I know his qualities well.
“I offer my congratulations to Joe for becoming Test captain and, once again, my thanks to Alastair Cook for the way he has developed the team, the timing of his decision and the platform he has given his successor.”
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