Joe Root is the new England Test captain, the England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed. The 26-year-old succeeds Alastair Cook as skipper after the opener relinquished the role last week following eight years in the role spanning 59 matches.

The Yorkshire batsman accepted the position following a short process which saw director of cricket Andrew Strauss liaise with several individuals including senior players Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad and James Anderson. Root's position has been confirmed for Test matches only.

A meeting with Strauss and chairman of selectors James Whitaker took place last week, upon Cook's decision to stand down, before a conversation with coach Trevor Bayliss. His nomination was ratified by the ECB executive board on Monday [13 February] prior to the announcement of his appointment

"It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy," Root told "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 will be the 80<sup>th different man to lead his country in the longest form of the game, just four years on from making his England debut in India. In 53 Tests, Root has averaged 52.80 with the bat, scoring 11 centuries while becoming a central pillar of the team.

Joe Root
Root has played 53 Tests and will lead the England team four years on from his debut. Getty Images

All-rounder Stokes has been installed as the vice-captain, replacing Root in a new look leadership structure. And the pair will have plenty of time to bed into their new roles, with England not in action in the five-day game until they face South Africa in July.

The four-Test series against The Proteas is followed by three matches against the West Indies before England attempt to retain the Ashes in Australia starting in November.

Strauss added: "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."