County cricket March 1, 2007

Geoff Cook appointed as Durham coach

Cricinfo staff

The former England opener, Geoff Cook, has been appointed as the new head coach at Durham, following the resignation of Martyn Moxon, adding weight to the speculation that Moxon will shortly be named as Yorkshire's new director of cricket.

Cook, who played seven Tests for England in 1982-83, captained Northants for eight seasons from 1981 before joining Durham as captain a decade later. In 1992, Durham's first season as a first-class county, he was appointed director of cricket, and was one of the first coaches in the country to receive his Level Four qualification.

"We are delighted to be able to give this opportunity to one of our coaching team," said David Harker, Durham's chief executive. "Geoff has enjoyed enormous success running the Durham Academy, with four of its intake already involved in the England set-up. Geoff enjoys the full support of the playing squad, with the captain, Dale Benkenstein, particularly excited about the prospect of working with the man who brought him to the Riverside."

Cook himself added: "I am absolutely delighted to take responsibility for the professional squad and have the chance to work with what I think is the most promising group of players in the country. This season is certainly going to be an exciting one and I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Moxon, who still lives in Wetherby in Yorkshire and has found the commute to Chester-le-Street an arduous one, admitted his decision to stand down was not one he had taken lightly. "My time at Durham has been thoroughly enjoyable," he said, "and have felt great satisfaction in working with such a fantastic group of people, both on and off the field. The team has developed over the years and it has been wonderful seeing the young talent emerging from the region. "

However, in recent days Moxon's name has been linked to the vacant position at Yorkshire after Allan Donald had initially been the favourite. If Moxon does return to Headingley it will be the second significant move in a matter of days after Darren Gough's comeback as captain. Moxon was Gough's captain for part of his first stint at Yorkshire and the club are believed to have made him an attractive offer.

Clive Leach, Durham's chairman, said: "We would like to thank Martyn for his commitment and dedication to Durham during his time with us and would like to wish him the best of luck for the future."