Darren Gough named as Yorkshire’s director of cricket

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Former Yorkshire fast bowler starts work immediately after answering call to help club

Darren Gough has been appointed managing director of Yorkshire cricket* as the club looks to rebuild in the wake of last week’s sacking of its coaching and medical staff.
Yorkshire confirmed Gough’s appointment on Monday morning amid the fallout from Azeem Rafiq‘s allegations of institutional racism at the club. Gough will start work immediately on an interim basis, initially until the end of the 2022 season, and one of his first tasks will be to oversee the recruitment of a new coaching team.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club 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 in a statement issued by the club. “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.”

Gough added that he shared “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,” he said.

Lord Kamlesh Patel, the club’s new chairman, said: “As a former captain of the club, Darren’s impact on the Yorkshire and England teams was considerable as a player. His infectious enthusiasm and will to win will be so important as we aim to be the best on and off the pitch.

“As we start on this journey with Darren, we want to engage everyone at the club and involve as many people as possible in shaping our direction. We have a considerable job ahead of us, but we are ready to embrace the opportunity together and build a brighter future for Yorkshire County Cricket Club”.

As one of the most popular players in Yorkshire’s history, Gough claimed 453 first-class wickets in 15 years with the club, during which time he also picked up 229 wickets in 58 Test appearances for England, before finishing his career at Essex, where he still lives.

Gough, 51, has been working in the media – doing commentary and hosting talkSPORT’s Drivetime radio show – and been involved in coaching on a consultancy basis since his retirement in 2008, including a stint with England’s Test squad in New Zealand in 2019-20.

His new role is expected to be focused on strategy, planning, recruitment and development as he steps into the role vacated by Martyn Moxon on Friday – one of 16 members of the back-room staff axed in a dramatic statement of the club’s determination to put the racism scandal behind them.

That issue is unlikely to resolved without further revelations, however. The 16 former employees are expected to seek legal advice on Monday, after it transpired that several of their number had sent a joint letter to the Yorkshire board in October, seen by ESPNcricinfo, outlining their deep unease at the club’s handling of the racism case, and its failure to rebut Rafiq’s extensive claims.

*December 6, 10am GMT – This story was updated throughout after confirmation of Gough’s appointment


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