Gooch calls for prompt action (7 January 1999)

7 January 1999

Gooch calls for prompt action

Electronic Telegraph

GRAHAM GOOCH has stressed the need for a stronger domestic system in the aftermath of the Ashes defeat, and revealed grave personal concerns about the desire of England's players to improve.

He believes the county system must be improved and players need to become more aware of the sacrifices required if they are to become sufficiently hardened for Test cricket. He insists that the whole of English cricket must address the problem sooner rather than later or suffer many more demoralising defeats against the best teams.

"Our domestic system has to be much stronger and leaner and have only the best players involved - if you're not good enough you don't play," Gooch said. "You will get stronger characters who are more resilient. There are not many who come straight into Test cricket and hit it off and if people think our domestic cricket is serving us well they are misguided.

"When you talk to players about doing this and that to improve they all agree, but when they go away they don't do anything about it. The motivation to get to the top comes from within. You have to put the game first."

Gooch believes one answer is to remove overseas players from the domestic game. "I've always been in favour of overseas players and what they have brought to county cricket has, by and large, been good, but I am questioning whether counties can pay these guys huge amounts of money," he said. "We might be better investing that in our own players."

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

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