England’s Joe Root.  Picture: REUTERS
England’s Joe Root. Picture: REUTERS

London — Joe Root said he felt "privileged, humbled and very excited" to be named England Test cricket captain on Monday, replacing Alastair Cook who resigned last week after four-and-a-half years in charge.

Colin Graves, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said the Yorkshire batsman was the perfect choice.

"I’m delighted that he has accepted the role and will now help to take the team to the next level," he added.

Durham’s 25-year-old all-rounder Ben Stokes was named vice-captain, the role previously held by Root.

Root, 26, has scored 4,594 Test runs since his debut in 2012 and will become England’s 80th Test skipper with his first game in charge set to be against SA at Lord’s on July 6.

Root, third in the world Test batting rankings, had been the standout candidate despite concerns the extra responsibility could affect his form.

The Yorkshireman described the new role as a "huge honour". "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," he said.

"The senior guys in the changing room play a very influential role and while there’s a natural progression for me it’s a huge support to know that they are there to help and advise."

Root made his Test debut in December 2012 at the age of 21 and has scored 11 centuries in the longest format of the game.

Reuters

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