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Joe Root to continue as England Test captain for West Indies tour; Andrew Strauss aims to appoint interim head coach in next week

Sir Andrew Strauss on Joe Root: "It is absolutely clear the extent of his commitment to taking this England cricket team forward"; Strauss says he intends to appoint an interim head coach for the tour of the West Indies in the next week

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England's interim managing director Sir Andrew Strauss has confirmed that Joe Root will remain as Test captain for the time being.

Sir Andrew Strauss has confirmed that Joe Root will continue as captain of the England men's Test team for the upcoming tour of the West Indies.

Strauss, addressing the media for the first time in his new role as the interim managing director of England men's cricket, said Root's commitment as captain of the Test team was "absolutely clear", despite a hugely difficult winter which saw his side beaten 4-0 in The Ashes series in Australia.

Head coach Chris Silverwood and former managing director Ashley Giles were both sacked this week, while it has also been confirmed that Graham Thorpe has left his position as assistant coach.

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Look back on the highs and lows of Chris Silverwood's time in charge of England

Strauss stressed that his appointment was purely on an 'interim' basis, saying: "my role is to prepare the team for the West Indies series and potentially recommend some structural changes to the England cricket department. However long that takes, I'm willing to play that role."

Strauss said: "It goes without saying it has been a particularly bruising period for the England Test team in particular over the last few months. No one likes to see English cricket in the headlines in the way it has been recently.

"When Tom [Harrison] asked me to step in on an interim basis, anyone who has a passion for English cricket wants to play their role and I'm very happy to do so.

He added: "I don't pretend to have all of the answers to all of the potential issues in English cricket at the moment but, obviously, I'll be working hard to try and navigate our way through that."

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Joe Root (PA Images)
Image: Joe Root's record as Test captain now stands at 27 wins, 25 defeats and nine draws across 61 games

On Root remaining as England Test skipper, Strauss said: "Having spoken to him, it is absolutely clear the extent of his commitment to taking this England cricket team forward. He has got incredible motivation and energy to do that.

"He is bruised, hugely disappointed by what went on in the Ashes - that goes without saying and many others are in the same boat - but he has the respect of the players, they all play for him and obviously he sets a magnificent example both on and off the field.

"I'm very happy to give him my support, and make sure that we've got the right sort of structure around him to take the pressure off him and allow him to do his job on the pitch."

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Strauss also said he was working hard on appointing an interim head coach to lead England's three-Test tour of the West Indies in March.

Strauss is hopeful the appointment will be made in the next week, to go along with the expected announcement of the travelling playing squad.

"That is the intention," Strauss said. "At the moment I'm working very hard on that.

"Just to be clear, we only spoke to Chris Silverwood yesterday, so we're right at the start of that process of trying to appoint an interim coach.

"The key for everyone at the moment is that there's clarity, everyone knows where they stand - selection is a big part of that and what the coaching set-up is going to be to support the players through that period of time.

"That's my job, to give that clarity, calm things down a little bit and make sure the players can focus on what they need to so that they can go out to the West Indies and win."

Compton: Broad should replace Root as England captain

Nick Compton believes Joe Root should stand down as England Test captain and has backed Stuart Broad to take over on a short-term basis.

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Former England batsman Nick Compton believes Stuart Broad should replace Joe Root as Test captain

Speaking ahead of Strauss confirming Root as captain for the West Indies tour, Compton told Sky Sports News: "If we are honest, his captaincy hasn't been good enough.

"There have been a number of situations where he has been behind the eight ball, reactive rather than on the front foot. Elite cricketing people have criticised his captaincy for some time now.

"He has also been selecting the team, along with Silverwood. With Silverwood getting the boot, in some ways you would have more respect for Joe if he resigned.

"I do think it is time for a change and I think someone like Broad, in the short term. He is in the latter stages of his career but is still performing."

Harrison won't be 'running away' from ECB role

Tom Harrison says he has no intention of "running away" from his role as chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board despite a chastening time for cricket in the country on and off the field.

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ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has confirmed that Graham Thorpe has left his position as England batting coach.

The last year has seen a racism scandal at Yorkshire and an Ashes thrashing, with the 4-0 defeat in Australia meaning England's Test side have lost 10 of their last 14 matches.

Harrison, speaking to reporters during the media briefing at Lord's on Friday, said he wants to help the rebuild and does not plan to be the next departure after head coach Chris Silverwood, managing director Ashley Giles and assistant coach Graham Thorpe.

He said: "When times are really difficult you need people to step into that challenge and I am here to do that. I have never been more determined to do that. I am not running away from the challenge.

"It has been exceptionally difficult but I am not running away because it needs leadership and some consistency in terms of how we build back to a place where the game can recover from an extremely difficult period both on and off the pitch."

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