Captaincy took a bad toll on my health, says Joe Root
By SMCS - Jun 6, 2022 11:36 am
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Former England captain Joe Root smashed as many as 1708 runs in Test cricket in 2021, getting very close to Mohammad Yousuf’s record of most runs in a calendar year as well. He hit six centuries and four fifties in 29 innings as well and averaged 61 too. But, Root struggled as a captain throughout as England registered defeats one after another. Notably, they lost 11 of the 21 games they played from January 2021 till the first Test against New Zealand as well.

Joe Root
Joe Root has been in omnious form

A 2-0 victory in Sri Lanka was a good start for Joe Root as captain in 2021 but after that, they lost in India, and New Zealand before losing in the Ashes where they lost four Tests. The loss to West Indies earlier this year and then he decided to step down from the leadership role and Ben Stokes took over the reins.

“It had become a very unhealthy relationship to be honest, the captaincy and me. It started to really take a bad toll on my own personal health. I couldn’t leave it at the ground any more, it was coming home. It wasn’t fair on my family, on people close to me, and it wasn’t fair on myself either,” said Joe Root after England’s five-wicket victory at Lord’s on Sunday (June 5). “I had thrown everything at it and I was determined to help turn this team around but I realised over that time at home that it would have to be in a different way. I’m very excited to do that now and to do everything I can to help Ben [Stokes] really turn this team around and make this team the force it should and can be.”

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“I obviously tried as much as I could, but I think I was unaware of how much it was grabbing hold of me. I just needed to make the decision, and I knew it was the right thing to do. I felt like a big weight had been lifted and I immediately felt a lot better. As hard as it was, obviously it’s been a huge privilege and something that I’m extremely proud to have done, but it’s time for a new phase in my career. And it’s one that I’m very much looking forward to, seeing one of my best mates now take this team forward and start in a way that he has,” he further added.

Joe Root, who became only the second England cricketer to cross 10,000 Test runs while scoring his 26th Test ton, said that watching people celebrate their victory was something he missed the most and he hoped there were more such celebrations to come in near future under the new captain as well.

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“That’s a great motivator for me moving forward, with the amount of amazing things Ben did for this team under my leadership. It’s a great opportunity for me in the next phase of my career to do that for him. It meant a huge amount to get over the line. It was very special to get the hundred and reach 10,000 runs, I can’t pretend it wasn’t, but nothing replicates winning games of cricket. It meant a huge amount to me, not just personally, but when you walk through the dressing-room or through the Long Room and you’re high-fiving the rest of the group, and you can see the genuine joy and elation on their faces. That’s the one thing that I’ve missed the most, I suppose, over the last year and a bit. And one thing I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot more of, hopefully, this summer,” concluded Joe Root.