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.