9:09am Thursday 1st May 2014
ESSEX legend Graham Gooch has become the first casualty of the Peter Moores era after being dismissed from his job as England batting coach.
Returning head coach Moores was due to meet fellow selectors James Whitaker, Mick Newell and Angus Fraser today to put together a squad for the one-day international against Scotland on May 9, but the England and Wales Cricket Board pre-empted that announcement with the news that former captain Gooch was leaving his post.
Gooch has acted as mentor to current skipper Alastair Cook throughout his career, the pair having worked together at Essex prior to linking up at international level, but the opening batsman was in agreement that change was needed.
Although he described the decision as "sad news", Gooch signed off with a resolute message of support for Cook and Moores that typifies his involvement with England throughout his career as player and coach.
Sixty-year-old Gooch began working as batting consultant in November 2009, with that part-time role made permanent in 2012 before he followed team director Andy Flower's lead in relinquishing limited-overs cricket a year later.
His replacement in that format, Graham Thorpe, is a leading candidate to work with the Test side on a regular basis now, with Mark Ramprakash also highly thought of, though the ECB has made no official comment on Gooch's replacement.
A statement from the governing body read: "ECB today announced Graham Gooch's departure as England batting coach, this will take place with immediate effect."
Gooch said: "I have been incredibly proud to work as England batting coach since 2009. I would like to thank Andy Flower for affording me the opportunity to be involved once again with England and contribute to the success of the team over these past four and a half years. I have many fine memories from the relationships formed with the players and staff and I know that I have given my best and I have tried to give it every day.
"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. 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.
"He will face many challenges and have many more tough decisions to make before his journey ends. 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.
"I would like to wish Peter Moores and Alastair all the very best as they look to rebuild the fortunes of the England cricket team."
Paul Downton, managing director of England cricket, added: "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.
"Graham's record as a player speaks for itself but as a coach his ability to mentor and develop players has helped England achieve a huge amount in recent years.
"I have no doubt that we will continue to see his influence on this current generation of England players and future generations can learn a lot from his passion and dedication to the game. In the past few years Graham has developed exceptional and successful professional relationships with several England batsmen which I will encourage him to maintain."
The lack of news about bowling coach David Saker, who came under scrutiny following England's struggles in Australia during the winter, suggests he may have earned a reprieve under Moores.
While Gooch has now left the Moores regime, Kevin Pietersen had already seen his England career ended by Cook and Downton.
The batsman's departure from the England set-up polarised opinion and he continues to offer an opinion on events within the ECB.
He tweeted his reaction to Gooch's departure, saying: "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!"
Pietersen's tweet appeared to be pointedly sarcastic, with whistling and not batting for the team believed to be on his rap sheet.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group