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Alastair Cook ready to stand down as England captain, Joe Root next man in

Alastair Cook is set to step down as England’s Test captain after nearly five years at the helm with star batsman Joe Root ready to replace him, according to reports.

The Telegraph is reporting Cook, 32, and the England & Wales Cricket Board will confirm the opener’s resignation this week, in preparation for 26-year-old Root to step into the breach.

If appointed as expected, Root would become England’s youngest Test captain since 25-year-old Michael Atherton took charge 23 years ago.

Cook has recorded historic Test series wins in India and South Africa, plus two Ashes series wins over Australia, since taking on the captaincy from Andrew Strauss in August 2012.

However, the Essex batsman has contemplated his role as skipper after a disastrous 4-0 series loss to India late last year, and with an Ashes tour on the horizon next winter he is ready to step down after 59 matches in charge.

Root is seen as the only candidate for the job and is widely expected to appoint all-rounder Ben Stokes as his deputy. He would not take charge until the home series against South Africa, starting in July this year.

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