William Thomas Root
August 05, 1992, Sheffield, Yorkshire
Left hand bat
Right arm offbreak
When your older brother is regarded as one of the finest batsmen England have ever produced, building a county career of your own must have its attractions and its downside in equal measure. Billy Root had that to contend with as he sought success at Nottinghamshire, and subsequently Glamorgan, in the shadow of brother Joe.
There was encouragement in 2017, however, in the shape of a two-year contract at Nottinghamshire after a season which began in galling fashion when brother Joe struck him for a matchwinning six in a 50-over tie ("don't bowl half-trackers at me next time," advised England's captain) but ended satisfyingly as he topped Nottinghamshire's Twenty20 averages - no mean feat as they won the trophy for the first time - and played a heroic part in their successful, but increasingly nervy, promotion campaign. Notts' promotion challenge had hit the rocks in their final match at Hove when they were 65 for 5 in reply to Sussex's 565, but centuries from Root (a career-best 132) and Chris Read, in his final appearance, helped take them past the follow-on to the draw that they needed.
An influx of new signings at Notts by the end of 2018 - Ben Slater, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke in the space of a few weeks - persuaded Root that it was time to move on. Glamorgan were attracted by the fact that he averaged more than 30 in all three formats - albeit only just - as they sought to address the fear that their homegrown players were not up to the task.
His first season at Sophia Gardens included two standout innings: he scored a classy 229 against Northants in the Championship, and hit an unbeaten 113 in a 50-over win against Surrey, though it was a case of feast-or-famine for the most part.
Opportunities were in short supply for Root, a left-handed batsman, while he concentrated on his studies at Leeds Beckett University, a decent 37 on debut against Hampshire at Trent Bridge in 2015 and another last-game-of-the-season appearance, this time at Taunton, when he made an unbeaten 66 in a heavy defeat for a Nottinghamshire side already relegated. In both he looked like a batsman of some ability, but without the consistency to be sure of making the grade. Root also struck a maiden first-class century in 2016, making 133 for Leeds/Bradford MCCU against Sussex at Hove, reaching his hundred with a six off George Garton. Like his brother, he is a product of Yorkshire League side Sheffield Collegiate.
Also spotted occasionally doing England 12th man duties - ferrying towels or drinks out to Joe a speciality - Billy has often been cast, stereotypically, as the more easy-going younger brother. There have been enough signs, though, that his talent can also flourish.
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