Joe Root announces he is stepping down as England's Test captain

After England won just one of the last 17 Test matches under his leadership, Joe Root announced on Friday morning that he'll be stepping down as the side's Test captain.

After five years as England captain, Joe Root has decided to step down from his leadership role, following England's 4-0 Ashes loss over the winter and 1-0 West Indies defeat last month.

Despite enjoying an extremely successful 2021 on a personal level, England endured a torrid year under the leadership of Joe Root, and after losing 11 and drawing five of the last 17 Test matches, Root decided on Friday morning that it's time for him to step down from the role.

It comes as the latest loss resulting from England's Ashes thumping in Australia this winter, with both head coach Chris Silverwood and director of cricket Ashley Giles previously making way for a rebuild.

As the news broke, Joe Root released a statement which read "After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England men's Test captain.

"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.

"I am immensely proud to have captained my country and will look back on the past five years with enormous pride. It has been an honour to have done the job and to have been a custodian of what is the pinnacle of English cricket.

"I have loved leading my country, 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."

Despite the poor results over the last 12 months, Root still hands over the captaincy after breaking the record for the most wins as England Test captain, with his 27 placing him one ahead of Michael Vaughan in second.

Root can also boast of being England's second-highest Test run-scorer behind Sir Alastair Cook, as well as scoring 14 centuries as captain, with his tally of 5,295 runs as skipper the highest of any England captain.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison was one of the first to pay respect to Root's time as England captain.

"Joe has been an exceptional role model during his tenure, balancing the demands of Test captaincy whilst continuing to shine brilliantly through his own personal performances.

"He has led by example, and that has resulted in more Test wins than any other England captain, alongside a number of famous series home and away victories.

"Joe's leadership qualities were exemplified by how he led the team through some of the most difficult and uncertain times we have known, playing during the pandemic all over the world, which speaks volumes for him as a leader and as a person."

Root's first time back with England will be in June, when the side are scheduled to face a three-match Test against New Zealand.

READ MORE: James Anderson still struggling to understand England's decision to drop him

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