Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sadness for Gooch as Cook Has Central Role in Dismissal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sadness for Gooch as Cook Has Central Role in Dismissal

Article excerpt

ALASTAIR Cook hopes England's batsmen will still work with axed coach Graham Gooch, despite the captain having a say in his departure.

Gooch became the first casualty of the Peter Moores era yesterday after it was confirmed he had been dismissed from his job as England's batting coach.

Gooch (pictured below) said that Cook, who he has mentored since he emerged at Essex, had been in favour of the decision.

But while accepting he wanted to "freshen things up", Cook added he did not want the door to close entirely on Gooch.

"Firstly we need to thank Goochy. He's been an absolute legend, not only for my game but all of our games over the last five years," said Cook.

"We all hold him in such high regard. I have a huge amount of respect for him and what he's done for English cricket over a huge amount of time, not only as a player but as a coach.

"We felt it's time to freshen things up and move on. For me, to still have him in my corner, go back to him, talk cricket, work on my game like I've always done. But we need to thank him for his hard work.

"To be part of that decision made it a little bit tougher but we decided we needed to freshen things up. He's still going to be involved behind the scenes, just not so much on matchdays and during the squad.

"A lot of the players have a great relationship with him, on a one-toone basis as well, not just me. I hope those guys will feel free to go and work with Goochy because we all know the work he does is outstanding."

Although he described the decision as "sad news", Gooch signed off with a resolute message of support for Cook and Moores that typifies his involvement with England throughout his career as player and coach. Sixty-year-old Gooch began working as batting consultant in November 2009, with that part-time role made permanent in 2012 before he followed team director Andy Flower's lead in relinquishing responsibility for limited-overs cricket a year later.

His replacement in that format, Graham Thorpe, is a leading candidate to work with the Test side on a regular basis now, with Mark Ramprakash also highly thought of, though the England and Wales Cricket Board has made no official comment on Gooch's replacement.

Gooch said: "I have been incredibly proud to work as England batting coach since 2009.

"I would like to thank Andy Flower for affording me the opportunity to be involved once again with England and contribute to the success of the team over these past four and a half years.

"I have many fine memories from the relationships formed with the players and staff and I know that I have given my best and I have tried to give it every day. After discussions with Alastair Cook he informed me that he was in favour of change.

"Although this was sad news, I respect his, and new coach Peter Moores, right to implement this change of direction. …

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