England in South Africa 2009-10 November 28, 2009

Gooch flies out to help England

Cricinfo staff

Graham Gooch has been recruited to the England coaching staff on a temporary basis to help the team prepare for the Test series against South Africa.

Gooch, who played 118 Tests and is his country's leading run-scorer, will initially join up with the performance programme in Pretoria next week before linking with the main squad in the build-up to the opening Test at Centurion Park on December 16.

"Graham is rightly regarded as one of the best batting coaches in international cricket and we are delighted to have secured his services for a key period of our preparations leading up to the first Test," said Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket.

Gooch will be able to work with Alastair Cook, a long-time student of the former England captain, who left the one-day squad after suffering a back problem and has remained in Pretoria. Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett, both members of the Test squad, were also released from the limited-overs unit on Saturday so they are able to play for the performance squad in a four-day match against the Lions, on Monday, as preparation for the Test series.

Following the one-day series, which finishes in Durban next Friday, England travel to East London to prepare for the Tests with two two-day games against a South African Invitational XI.