“PRIVILEGED, humbled and very excited.”
This was Joe Root’s verdict after he was appointed England’s new Test captain.
The Yorkshire batsman, who will speak about the role publicly for the first time at a press conference tomorrow, gave his initial reaction in an England and Wales Cricket board media release that announced his appointment.
Root, who has replaced Alastair Cook, who stood down last week, said: “It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy.
“I feel privileged, humbled and very excited.
“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.”
Root’s appointment was rubber-stamped by ECB chairman Colin Graves, the former Yorkshire supremo.
It followed the selectors’ recommendation and that of director of cricket Andrew Strauss, who also interviewed Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad.
Stokes has been appointed vice-captain in succession to Root.
Graves commented: “Joe Root is the perfect choice for England Test captain.
“I’m delighted that he has accepted the role and he will now help to take the team to the next level.
“When I spoke to him 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.”
Graves added: “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 10 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.”
Graves’s words were echoed by Strauss, who said: “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.”
Strauss went on: “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.”
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