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LONDON – Joe Root has been named the new Test captain of England, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced yesterday.

Yorkshire batsman Root, previously England’s vice-captain, has succeeded Alastair Cook, who resigned as Test skipper last week after a national record 59 matches in charge.

Root, who made his England debut under Cook, is now widely regarded as England’s leading batsman.

“It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy,” the 26-year-old Root said in an ECB statement. “I feel privileged, humbled and very excited.”

ECB director of England cricket Andrew Strauss, himself a former England captain, added: “Joe is the right man to be our next Test captain and I’m thrilled that he has accepted the role.”

Root will have several months to prepare for his first match as captain given England’s next Test does not start until July 6, when they face South Africa at Lord’s.

All-rounder Ben Stokes would succeed Root as vice-captain of the Test side.

Root has an impressive Test average of nearly 53 in 53 matches. He scored the first of his 11 Test hundreds at Headingley, his Yorkshire home ground, in May 2013 and currently has a total of 4,594 Test runs, placing him third in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.

Root became a father for the first time last month but flew out days after the birth of his son Alfred to join England on their ODI tour of India.

He is due to travel again next week when England head to the West Indies for a three-match ODI series.