Home > News >

Alastair Cook says it was tough to take call on Graham Gooch’s axing as batting coach

Alastair Cook-led
Alastair Cook (above) was mentored by Graham Gooch © Getty Images

By Julian Guyer

London; May 2, 2014

Alastair Cook said he’d made one of the hardest telephone calls of his career to tell boyhood hero Graham Gooch he was no longer needed by England.

Cook, the England captain, was mentored through the ranks at Essex by Gooch, one of the county’s greatest players and England’s record Test run-scorer, before working alongside him at international level.

But on Thursday saw Gooch become one of the first backroom casualties of Peter Moores‘s second spell as England coach when he was dismissed as batting coach.

It appeared the 60-year-old former captain, like Cook an opening batsman, was paying the price for England having failed to make the benchmark total of 400 in a Test innings since March 2013 — a key factor in their recent 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

Cook, who will captain England in a One-Day International (ODI) away to Scotland next week, said his most recent conversation with Gooch had been one of the most difficult he’d known.

“Everyone knows how close we are — and we’ve been through quite a lot together,” said Cook.

“To make a decision on a guy I’ve had so much respect for, and the whole of England has, was tough.

“I was telling a man, who I used to go and queue up to get his autograph and hope he’d score runs, that it’s time to move on. I’ll remember that for a long time.”

“But the calibre of Goochie [Graham Gooch] especially, as a person, he was telling me: ‘I totally understand’.

“For him to say that, when a 29-year-old is telling him ‘we want to move on’, shows just why I hold him in such high regard.”

However, Cook insisted he would be happy for anyone in the England side to continue to use Gooch as a personal batting coach.

“I hope that relationship will continue – not just with me,” the left-hander said.

“I know Belly [Ian Bell] has used him a hell of a lot, and has had great rewards, and we hope we can continue doing that on a one-to-one basis.

“I’ve worked with him for 11 years like that, and I know that’s his greatest strength.”

And Cook said being the bearer of bad news had not damaged his relationship with Gooch.

“We were both very clear we want to remain friends,” he said. “He was immediately talking about other stuff —  how I can go on in my game. That was quite humbling.

“This is professionalism, and will not affect how we feel about each other.”

Meanwhile Gooch told BBC Radio Five: “I’m not going to think bad of Alastair about this.

“Playing for England is bigger than the individual and what’s right for England is the way forward.

“I think it’s a joint decision — the captain and coach’s decisions have to be pretty much as one. Alastair was in favour of the decision and I respect that.

“He knows he needs to look at the way he handles a side and stamp authority on a team and making a decision like this is good for him. He has to believe in the decisions he makes.

“We’ll still be friends forever and hopefully I’ll still be involved in his game in some way.”

Since the Ashes, the only player whose international career has been terminated definitively is one-time star batsman Kevin Pietersen, England’s leading run-scorer across all formats.

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: My performance in this Test match has been disappointing, says Michael Clarke

New Zealand vs South Africa 2014: Kane Williamson eager to get back from injury

Live Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 2 at Dhaka

Bangladesh vs Zimbabawe, Live Cricket Score, 1st Test Day 2 at Dhaka

Pakistan vs Australia, Live Cricket Score, 1st Test Day 5 at Dubai

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Ahmed Shehzad is maturing with each innings

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Shakib-al-Hasan roars back with 6-wicket haul

TE Srinivasan: Graceful at the crease and in death

Duleep Trophy 2014-15: Six things we learnt from the quarter-finals and semi-finals

Fazal Mahmood engineers Pakistan’s first ever Test match victory

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here