AT LEAST one Blade earned promotion this year – England Test batsman Joe Root.
The former Sheffield Collegiate player is sweeping all before him. He was last week crowned the English Cricket Board’s Player of the Year 2014-15 only days after becoming England’s vice captain.
Andrew Strauss, the ECB’s new director of cricket believes he will go one step further sooner rather than later. He said: “Joe has outstanding leadership capabilities and we need him to start thinking more as a captain.”
Current skipper Alistair Cook’s days look numbered, especially if England don’t fair well in the two-match Test series against New Zealand at Lord’s which began yesterday. Root could find himself.thrown in at the deep end against Australia if the upcoming Ashes battle falters.
Root, a lifelong Sheffield United supporter, led England’s recovery in a dramatic day yesterday. He was caught just two runs short of a century. After coming in with England having managed only 30 runs with the loss of four wickets, Root left England in a much healthier position at 251-6. They closed on 354-7.
Root’s rescue act follows his 182 off 229 balls against West Indies in Grenada in April which took him past 2,000 career Test runs.
Younger brother Billy, who has signed a summer deal with Nottinghamshire, is no slouch with the bat either, He recently hit a Yorkshire League record unbeaten 218 for Sheffield Collegiate.
Joe went to the same school, King Ecgberts, as another United fan, Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis.
The pressure will be on at home when he does assume the captaincy. United fans will be expecting Root to lead England in at least 52 Tests to surpass the record of Michael Vaughan, a Wednesdayite.