- Feb 23, 2024
- Oct 8, 2023
England’s former test skipper Joe Root has dropped a sudden revelation that the England captaincy “took the life out of me” and he stepped down when he realised it took a toll on his family.
In an exclusive interview on Telegraph Sport’s Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast, Root revealed the depths of his struggles of coping with the burden of the job after suffering heavy defeats against West Indies and Australia.
Joe Root, who spoke on the sidelines between the second Test and the decider against South Africa at the Oval, explained the intricacies of how the decision to step away from leading the team came about when he arrived home from the West Indies in March and said that he only ever felt at peace when he batted, describing his time in the middle as his time of escape.
“I was coming home from series and I wasn’t able to switch off or wasn’t able to be present with my family. And I could see myself as a shadow of the person that I want to be. I think sometimes you’ve got to be big enough to understand that it’s time to move on and time for someone else to take that great honour on,” Joe Root said.
“It was when I got home from the West Indies tour. I think it had been coming for a long time. I just didn’t want to believe it. And I think when you talk about not being present and it getting to a point where I started to notice it and I could see the effect it was having on not just kids, but Carrie my wife as well around me, it just wasn’t fair on those guys,” he added.
“Out there (West Indies), I was desperate to turn things around. To come back to England, have a fresh look at things, but I’m so glad that we went about things the way we did. And I spoke to Ben personally, as my vice-captain and probably closest friend within the group first, and quite a while before anyone else. And then it was quite a relief once I’d spoken to family and got that off my chest,” he said.
“That was my quiet time, if you like,” he said. “It’s only you, you don’t have to think about anything other than watching the ball. And the longer I stayed out there, the more peaceful it was. And the less stuff that I had on my mind and the more in control of things you are as well,” he concluded.