It has been a golden year for English cricket’s golden child and Joe Root was rightly rewarded for his stellar form over the past 12 months with the ECB’s Cricketer of the Year honour at a recent function.
The Yorkshireman has scored 1,135 Test runs since regaining his place in the side following being dropped from the fifth Test of the infamous Ashes tour and has established himself as his country’s best and most consistent batsman in all forms of the game.
To highlight his high regard within the England set up further, the 24-year-old was appointed England’s new vice captain by Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss in a clear move to groom the right-hander into becoming Alastair Cook’s successor further down the line.
While few can deny the impact Root has made recently, there can’t be many expecting him to repeat the dose considering how cursed previous winners of the award have been.
All of the last three batsmen to claim the honour have suffered immediate slumps in their stats and, with an Ashes series that England are 3/1 outsiders to win, Cook’s side can ill afford a drop off in Root’s production.
First to be affected was Jonathan Trott, who won the award in 2011 and saw his average of 61.54 that year fall to 39.94 in the following 12 months.
Matt Prior took the gong next and was hit hardest by the curse. He went on the most barren run of his international career to average 17.68 in the aftermath of collecting the trophy and falling out of both the side and the game altogether as a result.
Last year, Ian Bell was honoured after his stupendous Ashes heroics, where scored 562 runs including three centuries. He went from averaging 41.87 in the calendar year to below 35 in the next season.
If Root can become the first batter to break the curse, England fans really will have reason to celebrate him.
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