Joe Root 'privileged and humbled' to be named new England captain

Joe Root has been named captain of the England Test side, the ECB have confirmed.

Monday, 13th February 2017, 9:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:22 am
Joe Root

The Sheffield-born batsman Root succeeds Alastair Cook, who resigned last week after a record 59-match tenure.

The England and Wales Cricket Board canvassed the opinion of several senior players before confirming the 26-year-old had been handed the job on Monday morning.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes will be Root's vice-captain, the ECB announced.

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Former King Ecgbert pupil Root, who had been Cook's vice-captain since May last year, will have five months to prepare for his first Test in charge - against South Africa at Lord's on July 6.

"It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy," he said in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement which confirmed his appointment on Monday morning.

"I feel privileged, humbled and very excited."

All-rounder Ben Stokes will be Root's vice-captain, as England seek to establish a new leadership era on the pitch not just against South Africa and West Indies in the forthcoming summer but in time to face Australia in next winter's Ashes.

England's record Test run scorer Cook is expected to remain at the top of the order for the foreseeable future.

Root, who averages almost 53 in his 53 Tests to date, will therefore have no shortage of advisers to turn to on and off the pitch - including experienced pace pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace.

He added: "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 while there's a natural progression for me, it's a huge support to know that they are there to help and advise."

Root, from Dore, was offered the job, and accepted, on Sunday evening after ECB chairman Colin Graves approved the recommendation of the selectors and the governing body's director of England cricket Andrew Strauss.

Graves, a fellow Yorkshireman, said: "Joe Root is the perfect choice for England Test captain.

"I'm delighted that he has accepted the role and will now help to take the team to the next level.

"When I spoke to him last night you could feel the excitement and sense the pride - he can't wait to get started.

"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."