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BBC snub is 'wake-up call' for cricket - Root

Joe Root has suggested that the absence of a cricketer from the list of nominees for BBC Sports Personality of The Year could be a "wake-up call" for cricket.

Root was named man of the series as England won back the Ashes in the summer of 2015. He is currently the No. 1 rated Test batsman, while his 2131 runs in all international cricket in 2015 is the most ever scored by an England player in a calendar year.

But perhaps due to the continuing absence of live cricket from free-to-air television, perhaps due to the cost of ticket prices or perhaps simply due to the excellence of athletes in alternative disciplines, there was no nomination for Root or any of his England colleagues when the shortlist of nominees for the BBC award was announced.

Following on from stories of falling participation numbers, recreational clubs folding and the reduced appearance of cricket in some newspapers, it has added to a sense that cricket's place in the public consciousness is diminishing.

While Root played down his own non-appearance on the shortlist, he did acknowledge that it was "slightly sad" that no England cricketer had been nominated.

"Maybe it is a bit of a wake-up call for cricket and maybe it is slightly sad for the sport," Root told ESPNcricinfo in an interview to publicise his book Bringing Home The Ashes.

"The 12 nominees have done amazing things in their individual sports this year and they deserve all the plaudits and recognition they get.

"But within cricket, you look at all the things that Stuart Broad has achieved this year, you look at James Anderson breaking Sir Ian Botham's record for the most Test wickets for England and Alastair Cook breaking Graham Gooch's batting record for the most Test runs. So I'd probably be down the list in cricket, anyway.

"All we can do as players and ambassadors of the game is try to set an example, playing in the right way and make it as entertaining as possible for people watching."

Despite his fine year, Root has been frustrated by his habit of falling when apparently well set. Nine times in Test cricket this year he has been dismissed with his score between 59 and 98.

"There's a lot of improvement to come. Getting out eight times in a year between 70 and 80 is not acceptable. I need to make sure it doesn't happen going forward.

"I want to make contributions that help us win Test matches rather than put us in positions where we have to play extremely well to win. When you make those starts, you want to convert them. That's been the disappointing thing about this year."

Root also described the World Cup defeat against Sri Lanka at Wellington in March as a key moment in England's limited-overs resurgence. Root contributed 121 to England's total of 309 but, any thoughts that such a total might be considered enough were soon dismissed as Sri Lanka powered to a nine-wicket victory with more than two overs to spare. It was, according to Root, the moment England knew their limited-overs cricket had to change.

"Knowing that we'd played the perfect innings as a side - and at the time I thought it was one of my best one-day knocks - was a sign that we had to look past benchmark scores," he said. "One-day cricket has moved on from that and so have we. We don't set ourselves any boundaries and we look to reach 400 as much as we can. It was a huge wake-up."