Former captain to help commercial side of club March 1, 2005

Gooch takes up new role with Essex

Cricinfo staff

Graham Gooch is taking up a new role with Essex after three years as head coach. Gooch, the former Essex and England captain, will now have a more commercial position within the club, although he will still provide batting advice at all levels. One of his new jobs will be to seek business opportunities to develop Essex cricket and its future facilities.

Essex's captain Ronnie Irani will take on greater responsibility for running the team side of the operation, but will still be able to call on the support of Gooch and the bowling coach John Childs. "It has been fantastic to have Goochie with us for the last three years, but we all feel the time is right to use his talents in a different way," said Irani, "I am going to grasp this new challenge with both hands, and I know I can rely on Graham and John to support me."

Essex's chief executive David East explained: "We all see this as a very exciting and positive development for the club. Essex had its most successful period in its history during the '80s and '90s when the direction of its cricket was under the control of the captain. We have retained the skill and expertise of Graham to assist with the development of our young batsmen, and see him making a very important contribution to our future commercial development."

Gooch's new role will enable him to further his media and business interests, but he says that since starting his career with Essex in 1973 the club has always been at the forefront of his thoughts. "Essex has always been No. 1 in my cricketing career. Over the past three years I have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with Ronnie Irani and the players. I now genuinely believe I can continue to serve the club and make a greater contribution to Essex's future prosperity in this exciting new role."