Darren Gough’s appointment as Yorkshire’s new director of cricket has been given the seal of approval by the England Test captain, Joe Root.
The former fast bowler was on Monday confirmed as the county’s managing director of cricket following a mass cull of backroom staff last week, an act of bloodletting that represents the most drastic response yet to the racism crisis engulfing the club. A total of 16 coaching and medical personnel were sacked on Friday, including the previous director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, and the head coach, Andrew Gale.
The latter has said he is considering legal action but Yorkshire are moving into a new era and have persuaded Gough to trade a lucrative and successful broadcasting career with TalkSport for the 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. Crucially, he is also highly regarded by the whistleblower Azeem Rafiq, and was among the first to make contact when his allegations of discrimination at the club became public.
Root, a lifelong Yorkshire player, has 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 before confirmation of Gough’s appointment, he said: “It’s news to me, but if that is the case … he’s a good man and I’m sure he’ll be looking to put his stamp on things at the club.
“From my experience of spending time with Goughie he’s obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about the game. His love for it is clear for everyone to see. I’m sure he’ll want to bring all of that to the fore, all of his experience and achievements in the game and pass them on to the group.”
Gough said: “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. 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.”
It is understood that a move for Essex’s highly-rated head coach Anthony McGrath, a former Yorkshire captain, will be high on Gough’s agenda.