Joe Root has stepped down as England’s Test captain, effective immediately, following five years in the position. Root had been under pressure since England’s Ashes failure and subsequent Test series loss in the West Indies. He succeeded Alastair Cook as England’s captain in 2017, captaining the team in 64 Tests and winning 27 of them, making him the most successful English Test skipper in history.

“I’ve chosen to step down as England’s men’s Test captain after returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect. It’s been the most difficult choice I’ve had to make in my career, but after consulting with my family and those closest to me, I’m confident that the time is right, “Root said.

“I am incredibly pleased to have led my nation and will cherish the memories of the previous five years. It has been an honour to accomplish the job and to be a keeper of English cricket’s apex. I enjoyed leading my nation, but it’s only lately been clear how much of a toll it’s taken on me and the influence it’s had outside of the game.”

Root was starting to face some flak, especially because England had only won one of their previous 17 Tests. While Root’s batsmanship is unquestionable, it is his leadership that has been called into question. In terms of the future Test captain, current vice-captain Ben Stokes is expected to follow Root, who has stated that he would continue to play and give his all for England cricket.