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Root likely to succeed Cook as England Test skipper

By David Clough

Alastair Cook's resignation as England Test captain puts Joe Root centre stage as by far his most likely successor - but there will be no immediate confirmation of his appointment.

England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss paid a rich tribute to Cook, the man who replaced him as captain in 2012 and has gone on to lead his country in a national record 59 Tests.

Cook received many plaudits after an up and down four-year tenure which included two Ashes series wins and a vexed whitewash defeat in Australia - leading to the departure of both coach Andy Flower and controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen.

"He's led the team with drive, with determination, with a huge amount of passion," said Strauss.

"You only have to speak to the people who have played under him to realise what an impact he's had on them.

"He's been a fantastic England captain.

"Today's really about celebrating what he's done as England captain."

• PETER Chase has been called into the Ireland squad for the three Twenty20 matches against Afghanistan in India next month.

The 23-year-old pace bowler, who played in seven one-day internationals last summer but has yet to make his T20 international debut, replaces 17-year-od Josh Little, who is staying at home to fulfil his education commitments.

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