England news May 1, 2014

Gooch cut from England batting coach role

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graham Gooch has been sacked as England's batting coach, the first of England's backroom staff to lose his job since Peter Moores returned, after Alastair Cook decided the set-up needed a new face.

Cook, who has used Gooch as a mentor throughout his career, discussed his decision with him beforehand and the England captain later said he hoped players would still seek out Gooch who is England's Test run-scorer and has been involved with English cricket for almost 40 years as a player through to various coaching and advisory roles.

As recently as this week Gooch was working with Matt Prior at Hove and has also spent considerable time with Michael Carberry early in the season. Known for his incredible work ethic, Gooch gave endless hours of throwdowns - with his patented, remodelled dog thrower - to any batsman who wanted them.

"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 News. "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.''

Gooch, meanwhile, endorsed Cook as the man to take England forward after their awful winter. "After discussions with Alastair Cook he informed me that he was in favour of change. Although this was sad news, I respect his, and new coach Peter Moores, right to implement this change of direction," he said.

"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."

Gooch was named England's batting consultant in November 2009, and took on the role full-time in March 2012. In 2013, he passed on the limited-overs batting responsibilities to Graham Thorpe, to focus his attention on the Test team and the young players coming through for England.

Thorpe is one of the favourites to take on Gooch's position although Mark Ramprakash has also been suggested as a candidate.

Paul Downton, the managing director, England cricket, said: "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, Kevin Pietersen also noticed the news of Gooch's departure and could not help but offer himself over Twitter. "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!" he posted, in reference to some of the factors mentioned in his sacking by England earlier this year, which reportedly included whistling after being dismissed.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    Love the ECB's complete lack of bottle in all circumstances. We get wiped by a very good australian side, away from home (and nobody else btw) so what do we do?. Fire two coaches with 200 test between them and a wealth of batting knowledge and replace them with 2 guys who know nothing about international cricket or batting at that level. Meanwhile the ECB show all the moral fibre of an ice cream and fire KP instead of telling Cook & Co to grow up, ship in loads of inexperienced players to get smashed and a coach who made 3 captains resign in 12 months last time he was let loose on the England setup. No nerve, common sense or respect for the paying public. Why should I spend £50 on a ticket to watch the 'B' team that Moores will shuffle out based on his county stats ipad? England to lose nearly everything for a long time.

    I suppose Saker was to blame for our bowlers being knackered in Aus and next for the chop?

  • Robert on May 2, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    All the top English batsmen average dropped since he was made perm. It is just a surprise that this hasn't happened sooner.

  • Manoj on May 2, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Is this the end of English cricket???? OMG Sacking Gooch and taking Farbrace???? I can't believe all these.

  • Tom on May 2, 2014, 1:34 GMT

    He had to go, in fact he should have been one of the first out of the door after the winter tour IMO.

  • Varun on May 1, 2014, 23:04 GMT

    I am from India and dont beleive that England will lose against India in the upcoming series. Most of the players in India that going to come to England are new and though our batting looks somewhat stable in the middle our opening is still bad and bowling is pathetic as always. Ishant Sharma is a waste and Zaheer is no more lethal and I dont know whether he have the fitness for 5 tests. I would be happy if the selectors select some new blood in Bowling department instead of Ishant and Zaheer. England wont beat us like last time but definitely have the experience and batting and bowling power to beat us atleast 4-0 or 3-1.

  • Friend on May 1, 2014, 22:03 GMT

    @serious-am-i, you dont always need experienced players to win. We won in England in 2007 and some of the players who performed in that tour were playing their first tests in England - Dhoni, RP Singh, Karthik, Jaffer, Sreesanth, to name a few. In their 2nd tour in 2011, RPS and Sreesanth failed, Dhoni performed only in one test and Karthik and Jaffer were not selected. Chetan Sharma was a revelation in his first tour in 1986 when we won 2-0 (almost 3-0). India's new batting talent is the envy of other teams. Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Dhawan, and Rohit are among the best batsmen in the world today and, now that KP has been sacked, better than any England batsman on current form. I think we need another opener instead of Murali Vijay. Bowling is coming along nicely also and I think Zak may retire after the Aussie tour this year.

    England, on the other hand, are a shambles. They have lost all their key back room personnel and their batting is the worst of all teams, worse than even Banglad.

  • John on May 1, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Sad for Gooch but maybe he had to go. Both times we were whitewashed it was much more of a batting problem than a bowling one.

    Be interesting to see if the new regime have any new ideas. People say about Australia's revival being mainly due to Johnson - I'd say Lehman played as big a part. The signs were there in England

  • Naveed on May 1, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    graham gooch left on his own terms and the press release was his gift to cook, just to help the young lad get over his perceived weaknesses. make no mistake graham gooch is still a very powerful player in the politics of english cricket.

  • Dummy4 on May 1, 2014, 18:48 GMT

    He simply had to go after England's regular failure to post any substantial scores in Test cricket. After all he was the batting coach. Next up David Saker....

  • Andy on May 1, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    I don't know much around English cricket but I do know how the Indian players function. I'm surprised English fans are praising Indian batsmen & some are even expecting India to win against Eng on their next tour. I would like to set few things straight, the Indian team which will be reaching Eng will be full of new faces with almost minimal to no experience batting in Eng wickets. Indians are not used to playing on swinging wickets. Lets see who didn't even play once in a test in Eng: Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane,Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Yadav, these are some of the names which I'm sure will go through if they are fit even if they do poorly in upcoming tour. I would be surprised if even India manages to draw a single test considering their recent away stints. Gone are those days when Indian players used to play in the counties which would have helped them .. like Sachin, Sourav, Dravid, Zaheer & so forth..

    Back on the topic, I never liked Cook's captaincy, period

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