The metamorphosis of Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch is a former English cricketer who captained England and Essex. His tally of 44,846 runs places him in the top 10 run-getters in First-Class cricket, which included 128 hundreds. As a handy right-arm medium-pacer, he picked up more than 200 wickets in First-Class cricket.

The photograph on the left is when Gooch, as a 21-year-old, made his First-Class debut in 1973. Gooch was a commanding presence at the batting crease. He was tall, with a bulky frame and a trademark Zapata moustache which disappeared only after he had retired from all forms of the game. He had a high backlift and demonstrated a very rare ability to play both spin and pace on any wicket. The picture of Gooch on the right is how Gooch, 60, looks now. The erstwhile mustachioed look was gone. Gooch’s hairline had receded and he went for a hair transplant.

Gooch retired from international cricket in 1995 as England’s leading run-scorer in Tests. In March 2012, Gooch took up full-time role as England batting coach, which came in the wake of disappointing 0-3 loss in the Test series against Pakistan. Under his guidance England steadily climbed up the ladder and became the No 1 Test team in 2011 after whitewashing India 4-0 in their own den.

The years of toil in international cricket show in his weather beaten looks in the picture on the right.