English cricket’s biggest names pay tribute to Joe Root after he quits as Test captain

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English cricket’s biggest names have paid tribute to Joe Root after he announced he is stepping down as the country’s Test captain.

Sheffield’s Root, 31, holds the record for the highest number of wins as England’s skipper.

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His 27 victories put him one ahead of Michael Vaughan and three ahead of Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew Strauss.

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Joe Root has stepped down as England captain.Joe Root has stepped down as England captain.
Joe Root has stepped down as England captain.

Vaughan, who also hails from Sheffield, wrote on Twitter: “He gave it everything with very little support for the red ball team under his watch… then he had to deal with Covid times… he still is and will (be) the game’s best role model for many many years… now enjoy being the senior player for many more seasons.”

Root is England’s second-highest Test run-scorer behind Cook and scored 14 centuries as captain, with his tally of 5,295 runs as skipper higher than any of his predecessors’ totals.

But the past 12 months have been dismal.

After winning their opening three Tests of 2021, England have won just one since, losing 11 and drawing five of their last 17.

Ben Stokes, a close pal of Root’s who is among the favourites to replace him, wrote on Instagram: “Been a great ride with you my friend.

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"Watching one of my great mates lead us all out on to the field was a privilege. You have given everything to English cricket and we all want to say thank you for your sacrifices and hard work.”

James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, said: “It’s been a pleasure to be part of Joe Root’s England side. The way he’s managed to balance the responsibilities and stresses of leading the team while also becoming one of world’s greatest batters has been extraordinary.

“He is an incredible ambassador for the sport and I can’t wait to see him back out in the middle where I’m certain he’ll cement himself as one of the all-time greats.”

Former England captain Michael Atherton told Sky Sports News: “I’m not surprised. It had got to a stage at the end of the Ashes, even before the West Indies tour, where it was pretty clear change was needed.

“There comes a moment in every England captain’s life where you realise you’ve given it all and you can’t do anymore."