Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have decided to sack Graham Gooch as the national team’s batting coach.
Gooch worked tirelessly with the England batsmen and has even been helping Matt Prior and Michael Carberry find their touch during the ongoing county season.
Gooch stated that he respected England captain Alastair Cook’s desire to lead the team in a new direction and wished him all the best.
“After discussions with Alastair Cook he informed me that he was in favour of change,” Gooch said. “Although this was sad news, I respect his, and new coach Peter Moores, right to implement this change of direction.
“In my opinion Alastair is the right man to captain England, he commands respect and will always put his body on the line for his country. Over the last decade or so he has been the ultimate professional to work with and it has been an honour to see him develop.”
Cook thanked Gooch for all his help and input over the last five years and encouraged players to seek Gooch’s advice if they were out of form or struggling with any aspect of their batting.
“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,” Cook told Sky Sports. “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-to-one 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.”
ECB managing director Paul Downton added: “Graham has been an outstanding coach for England over the last four and a half years and is held in the highest regard by all those who have worked alongside him. On behalf of everyone involved in England cricket I would like to thank him for his incredible commitment.”
Meanwhile, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen offered to be Gooch’s replacement via Twitter, saying: “Where do I apply for ENG batting coach job? I promise I won’t encourage whistling when you get out or trying to change the game!”