Telegraph View: Saluting Joe’s Root to the top

Joe Root was named as the new England captain on Monday (Photo: PA)
Joe Root was named as the new England captain on Monday (Photo: PA)
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The names of Sheffield’s sporting greats just roll off the tongue; Ennis-Hill, Vaughan, Fitzpatrick, Willett, Hamed, Taylor, Dooley, Vardy, Ingle, Banks, Coe, Matthew...

Today, another star truly cements his place in history when Joe Root, born and bred in Sheffield, becomes only the 80th man in history to captain England in Test cricket.

Joe and his family weren’t driven by fame and fortune, just by enjoyment of the game they loved and a desire to play it

Truth be told, he wasn’t doing too badly before getting the captaincy; consistently one of the world’s top three batsmen, potentially one of the greatest this country has ever produced.

But his career reaches new heights today and his life will surely never be the same again. So The Telegraph makes no excuses for making a big deal of him today; something we should do more often when it comes to our proud city’s greatest offerings.

Root’s ascension to the England captaincy isn’t only a tale of talent, although he possesses that by the bucketload.

It’s also a triumph of dedication, hard work and passion for the game. Dad Matt remembers Joe and younger brother Billy, now carving out a career of his own playing for Nottinghamshire, playing for hours on the boundary while he did likewise in the middle for Collegiate. Neither were driven by dreams of fame and fortune, but simply by enjoyment of the game they loved and a desire to keep getting better.

Today is also a reward for Matt and Joe’s mum Helen, and for grandad Don who often acted as chauffeur around the country when his grandsons were playing in every corner of the UK.

It is one for every coach and teacher who gave up their time to help Joe, and hundreds of kids like him.

And it’s a reward for this great city, which consistently punches above its sporting weight and still doesn’t manage to shout about it.

So good luck, Joe, for your first Test as captain and hopefully many beyond that. Your city is behind you all the way.