Joe Root has announced his resignation from the England Test captaincy after five years in the role.
The 31-year-old revealed he was stepping down on Friday in a detailed statement, with a replacement yet to be announced.
Root led England during the recent 1-0 Test series loss to West Indies and the 4-0 Ashes defeat to Australia, with the team only winning one of their last 17 Test matches.
“After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England Men’s Test Captain,” Root said in a statement.
“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.”
Root made his Test debut in 2012 against India, and five years later became skipper. He holds the England record for most matches (64) and wins (27) as Test captain.
An announcement of Root’s successor is yet to be made with vice-captain Ben Stokes the favourite to take the role, while Stuart Broad and Jos Buttler are also in contention.
Root explained his appreciation for those closest to him and thanked England cricket fans - who he labelled “the best in the world”.
Rooty has stepped down as Test captain.— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) April 15, 2022
Our most successful captain ever, thank you for everything Joseph Edward Root ❤️ pic.twitter.com/w6zt5eiEXN
“I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, Carrie, Alfred and Bella, who have lived it all with me and been incredible pillars of love and support throughout," Root said.
“All of the players, coaches and support staff that have helped me during my tenure. It has been a great privilege to have been with them on this journey.
“I would also like to thank all the England supporters for their unwavering support. We are lucky to have the best fans in the world, and wherever we play, that positivity is something we always cherish and admire, which is a huge drive for all of us out there.
“I am excited to continue representing the Three Lions and producing performances that will enable the team to succeed. I look forward to helping the next captain, my teammates and coaches in whatever way I can.”