Playing his first Test since stepping down as England’s leader, Root, continued in his rich vein of form, scoring a match-winning 115 not out at Lord’s to help England gain a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against New Zealand. While it was a bright start to Ben Stokes’ tenure as captain and Brendon McCullum’s as head coach, the run-machine that is Root admitted that captaincy bogged him down and that he was looking forward to a new phase in his career in the Stokes-McCullum era.
“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 Root after England’s five-wicket victory at Lord’s on Sunday.
“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.
“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 added.
“It started to really take a bad toll on my own personal health. It wasn’t fair on my family and it wasn’t fair on myself either.”
Joe Root has spoken for the first time about his decision to quit the England captaincy
— i sport (@iPaperSport) June 5, 2022