County news March 8, 2005

Gough named as Essex vice-captain

Cricinfo staff

Darren Gough: a new role at Essex © Getty Images

Darren Gough has been named as Essex's new vice-captain, as part of a pre-season shake-up at Chelmsford that has already resulted in Graham Gooch, the former head coach, handing over several of his day-to-day duties to the captain, Ronnie Irani, in order to take up a broader role within the club.

It is just the latest step in the renaissance of Gough, who signed from Yorkshire in a high-profile move last summer. He had been widely written off at the end of last season, but bounced back with a vengeance on England's one-day tour of South Africa last month, and is determined to play a major role in the forthcoming NatWest clashes with Australia.

"I am very much looking forward to my new position of vice-captain at Essex," Gough told "I had the opportunity to be captain of Yorkshire before I left, but this is a big opportunity for me now at Essex.

"Coming to Essex has been a good move for me and being made vice-captain is a huge honour," he added. "I hope that my 15 years of experience in county cricket - including 10 years in international cricket - will have an influence on the rest of the squad. I have been on England's management committee for five years and this is another big achievement in my career."

Gough takes over the role from the previous incumbent, Paul Grayson, who will instead captain the second eleven, and according to the club captain, Irani, his promotion was essential for the balance of the team.

"In my new wider captaincy role it was of the utmost importance to bring in someone such as Darren Gough as vice-captain," explained Irani. "Darren is a natural leader and a top performer who is well suited to such a position at this stage in his career. He is one of the best players in the world I could have as my right-hand man.

"Darren is always among the first to offer advice and possesses one of the best cricketing brains in the country."