Root named England Test skipper

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The England and Wales Cricket Board have officially announced the anticipated appointment of Joe Root to the post of England Test captain replacing Alastair Cook.

Cook stepped down last week after a difficult period in charge of the team citing an inability to give the job his complete commitment.

Ben Stokes has been appointed to the role of vice-captain replacing Root in that role.

Chairman of the ECB Collin Graves approved the appointments on Sunday evening acting under the guidance of  Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss.

Graves said in a statement released to the media: “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.

“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.”

Root was named vice-captain to Alastair Cook nearly two years ago having made his England Test debut in 2012 he has grown into the most accomplished and reliable batsmen in the England team and indeed in world cricket.

Root said himself: “It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy.

“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.”

The Yorkshireman had been tipped to succeed Cook long before the former captain’s resignation but England nonetheless conducted a series of interviews with Root and a few other senior players ahead of the official appointment.

Strauss said of Root: “Joe is the right man to be our next Test captain and I’m thrilled that he has accepted the role.

“After Alastair Cook stepped down last week, the selectors and I engaged in the proper process to appoint his successor. Following informal and formal conversations with members of the Test team at the end of the week, the offer was put to Joe and he accepted immediately.

“Joe has shown a number of admirable qualities in his Test career so far. Making his debut in 2012 at the age of 21 and going on to establish himself as one of the premier batsmen in all forms of the game in such a short period of time demonstrates his drive, determination, cricketing intelligence and an ability to learn that will serve him well in his new role.

“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.”

Root’s first assignment as Test captain will be to lead England in a home series against a formidable Proteas team.