England batter Joe Root plays off his legs in his only innings in the Indian Premier League for Rajasthan Royals
England batter Joe Root played a solitary innings for Rajasthan Royals at the 2023 Indian Premier League

Joe Root has followed England Test captain Ben Stokes by withdrawing from next year’s Indian Premier League.

England batter Root, 32, played three times for Rajasthan Royals in last year’s tournament but batted only once.

Royals director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara said: “We respect his decision totally and wish him success in everything he does.”

Yorkshire’s Root, who signed a three-year central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last month, played every game of the recent World Cup in India.

He is also set to be an integral part of England’s team for their five-Test tour of India which starts on 25 January in Hyderabad.

ECB managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key said ex-England captain Root needed a “break” when he was left out of the limited-overs squad for next month’s series with West Indies.

The Royals bought Root for £100,000 at the 2023 mini-auction – his first stint in the IPL – but he spent the majority of the tournament carrying the drinks.

Root scored 10 from 15 balls in his only innings – a defeat by Royal Challengers Bangalore on 14 May – but Sangakkara praised his broader influence.

The ex-Sri Lanka skipper added: “Even in a short span of time, Joe was able to create such a positive impact on the franchise and the players around him.

“His energy around the group and the experience he brought to the Royals will be missed.”

Root has scored 11,416 Test runs at an average of 50.29 and needs 1,057 more to overtake Sir Alastair Cook as England’s all-time leading scorer in Test cricket.

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