Joe Root: 10 facts about English cricket’s young prodigy

Born December 30, 1990, Joseph Edward “Joe” Root is a right-handed batsman who plays for Yorkshire and England. Tipped to lead England from a very young age, Root has been a phenomenal performer ever since he made his Test debut against India at Nagpur in 2012. Originally an opener, Root was briefly asked to open the innings at the international level and he obliged, scoring big runs at top of the order as well. In his short career so far, Root has already established himself as one of world’s best batsmen and a future England captain. On his 25th birthday, Chinmay Jawalekar takes a look at 10 facts from the life of the slender batsman.

1.  Early life: Joe Root was born to Helen and Matt Root in Sheffield, Yorkshire. His illustrious family had other sportspersons such as his grandfather, who captained Rotterdam in the Yorkshire league; his father, who also played for Sheffield Collegiate and his brother Billy, who is also a cricketer and plays county cricket. He attended King Ecgbert School, Sheffield and later went to Sheffield Collegiate CC, where he learnt his game. Former England captain Michael Vaughan is also an alumnus of that college.

2.  ‘FEC’: Root’s team-mates at the college used to call him ‘FEC’ or ‘Future England Captain’ (a same moniker was once used for Michael Atherton). In 2004, during a local league Under-17 game for the Sheffield Collegiate side, his opposition players mistook some other players as FEC as 13-year old Root was barely five feet tall and looked no older than 10.

3.  County debut: Root started playing for Yorkshire Second XI in 2007. After considerable success for the second team, Root was given an opportunity in the first team in Yorkshire’s final Pro40 match of 2009-10 season at Headingley, against Essex. With 63, he was the top-scorer in Yorkshire’s innings.

4.  Under-19 World Cup 2010: Root was a part of England’s U-19 World Cup squad for the 2010 edition, where he played along with his future England team-mates Ben Stokes and Jos Butler. England had a torrid time at the tournament, where they finished eighth. Root managed 138 runs in six matches in the tournament.

5.  Test debut: Root was supposed to captain England Lions in Australia in late 2012. Instead, after 36 First-Class matches and 4 centuries for Yorkshire, he received a call-up into England’s squad to tour India. In the fourth Test at Nagpur, where he wasn’t due to play as he was on an educational tour to India, he was handed his Test debut ahead of the likes of Samit Patel, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow. He scored a patient 229-ball 73 in the second innings and announced his arrival in style.

6.  The Future: Only 25, Root averages close to 55 in Tests and 42 in One-Day Internationals (ODIS). He already has 8 Test and 6 ODI hundreds to his name and is ranked amongst the best batsmen in the world in almost all the rankings. He is easily the brightest star for England at the moment and it is just a matter of time before he gets to lead his country.

7.  Prankster: Root enjoys his cricket and is a bit of a prankster both on and off the field. According to an interview to All Out Cricket (AOC), he thinks he can be quite cheeky at times and likes to keep people on their toes.

8.  Spat with Warner: During the Ashes 2013 in England, Root had an altercation with Australian opener David Warner in a Birmingham bar that led to Warner being banned during the last Ashes in England. Warner had apparently punched Root at the hotel bar after the latter placed a green and gold wig on his chin which the opening batsman interpreted as mocking South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

9.  Honours: In 2012, Root was named the Cricket Writer’s Club Young Player of the Year. In 2014, he was one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year along with Shikhar Dhawan, Chris Rogers, Ryan Harris and women’s cricketer Charlotte Edwards. At the time of writing this list, Root is placed as No. 2 Test batsman in the ICC player rankings.

10.  Record: In 2014, Root became the first Yorkshire batsman to hit an ODI hundred at Headingley, with India at the receiving end.


Qucikbits about Joe Root:

1.  Personality in one word: Choirboy

2.  Most marked characteristic: Blue Eyes

3.  Idea of happiness: Soccer Saturday

4.  One person he admires the most: His friend Tom Haig

5.  Biggest disappointment: His school grades

6.  Most important lesson life has ever taught: Assume nothing

7.  If he were an animal, what would he be?: Lion

8.  The most beautiful thing he’s ever seen: The beaches in Barbados

9.  Who would he like to play himself in a film on his life?: Brad Pitt

10.  Who is his favourite fictional hero?: Batman

(Quickbits compiled from Root’s interview with All Out Cricket)

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)