Cricbuzz Staff •
“It’s where I’ve grown up and what I know. I don’t really see myself playing anywhere else” © Getty
England Test captain Joe Root has signed a three-year contract extension with his county, Yorkshire, which will keep him at Headingley until at least the end of 2022.
Root, whose previous deal did not expire until next year, has been with the club since he was a boy, being identified as a 12 year-old and then graduating to a first-team debut in 2009. Although his England commitments now largely keep him away from county action, to secure Root’s long-term future at the club is an important statement from Yorkshire after a turbulent 12 months.
A number of internationals such as Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett, who has left to join Surrey, have been unhappy – although for now Rashid looks to be staying put – while the club has gradually been revamping an ageing squad into a younger one with the likes of leg-spinner Josh Poysden and fast-bowler Matt Pillans heading to Leeds. A mid-table Championship finish last term and limited success in the white-ball competitions were indicative of a squad in transition.
Root’s bond with the county, like that of Alastair Cook at Essex, runs deep, and it is unlikely he would ever consider leaving. With the ECB picking up most of his wages through his central contract, and the kudos the county gains by having the England captain in their ranks, it’s a no-brainer for Yorkshire to keep him. “I love playing for Yorkshire. It’s my county,” Root told yorkshireccc.com.
“It’s where I’ve grown up and what I know. It’s the White Rose and what it’s about. For me, I don’t really see myself playing anywhere else. I’m passionate about us as a county being successful.”
Although Root played three Championship matches last season, in addition to one 50-over match and one T20, Yorkshire are unlikely to see much of the 27 year-old next year with a home World Cup and then an Ashes series taking place in a packed calendar. Given Root’s importance to England in all formats of the game, the ECB are wary, understandably, of burn out.
“At times it feels a little bit frustrating because you want to play more, but ultimately you have got to focus on playing for your country, which is quite a big commitment now especially given the amount of international cricket there is,” Root added.
“That makes it very difficult to come and play for Yorkshire, but that little bit more special when you do get the opportunity to. It really counts, it’s your one opportunity, or two or three games, to contribute to the team or try and achieve something special.”
Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “Everybody at the club is delighted that Joe has agreed to extend until the end of. Clearly, at the moment he’s not playing a great deal for us, but I think it’s great that we’ve got Joe’s affiliation with us and when he does play he has a massive impact coming back into the dressing room.
“The influence he has on our players is huge and the younger players aspire to reach the levels that Joe has achieved – we’ve got that role model within the club.”