Yorkshire appoint former captain Darren Gough as managing director of cricket
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Darren Gough had two spells at Yorkshire as a player
Darren Gough had two spells at Yorkshire as a player

YORKSHIRE have appointed former captain Darren Gough as their new managing director of cricket on an interim basis until the end of the 2022 season.

Ex-England bowler Gough, 51, had two spells as a player at Headingley before retiring from cricket and starting a career in broadcasting.
Former director of cricket Martyn Moxon, first-team coach Andrew Gale and all members of the coaching staff were among 16 people who left the club last week amid the racism scandal involving former player Azeem Rafiq.`

Gale has said he is considering legal action but Yorkshire are moving ahead towards a new era regardless, persuading Gough to trade a lucrative and successful broadcasting career for a major rebuilding job at Headingley.

Gough has been out of the game since his retirement in 2008 but took a short-term mentoring role with England’s seamers on tour in New Zealand two years ago and was enthused by the experience.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has been part of my life since my earliest days in cricket when I made my debut in 1989, and I spent 15 happy years at the club,” Gough said. “Like many, I have followed how the club handled the recent racism allegations with sadness and anger.

“I want to play my part in rebuilding cricket in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to working with the exceptionally talented group of players here. I am also aware of my wider responsibility to listen to everyone and ensure that every person who is associated with this club feels welcome, instilling values we want associated with the White Rose: honesty, straight talking, hard work, integrity and excellence.

“I share (Chair) Lord Patel’s vision for YCCC and the collective determination to face the issues head-on with a series of positive actions. Change will not happen overnight, but I am certain that we can make Headingley roar again”.

Gough is highly regarded by whistleblower Rafiq and was among the first to make contact when his allegations of discrimination at the club became public.

England Test skipper Joe Root, a lifelong Yorkshire player, has also backed Gough as the perfect man to help the White Rose bounce back from a torrid chapter in its history.

Speaking from Brisbane ahead of the first Ashes Test, he said: “I’ve obviously spent time with Darren and he’s a good man. “I’m sure he’ll be looking to put his stamp on things at the club.

“From my experience of spending time with Goughy he is obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about the game. His love for it is clear for anyone to see and for the club as well

“I’m sure he will be wanting to bring all of that to the fore and all of his experiences and achievements within the game and pass that knowledge onto the group, if it is that he is about to take over.”

Former West Indies fast bowler and Sky Sports commentator Michael Holding – whose book ‘Why We Kneel, How We Rise’ has just won the prestigious William Hill Sports Book-of-the-Year award – feels it would be wrong to treat any of the former Yorkshire staff as ‘pariahs’.

“I don’t know what the people who have left Yorkshire have done or said. But 16 people, that seems huge to me,” said the 67-year-old.
“Sometimes you have to totally destroy a building and rebuild it. And perhaps that’s what needs to happen now.

“I get the impression the entire racism debate is heading towards being a little bit toxic. We don’t need the toxicity.

“We don’t need people to be pariahs, we need a coming together. Action must be taken, but it should be taken against people who have perpetuated this over a long period of time.

(Sky Sports)

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