Joe Root gives Darren Gough's return to Yorkshire CCC thumbs up as former skipper unveiled as director of cricket

Joe Root has given Darren Gough’s return to Headingley his stamp of approval, saying the former Yorkshire and England bowler will be “looking to put his stamp on things” after being unveiled as the county’s new director of cricket.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 11:44 am
Former England bowler Darren Gough speaks with Moeen Ali and Joe Root during a nets session at Headingley (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Former England bowler Darren Gough speaks with Moeen Ali and Joe Root during a nets session at Headingley (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Gough had two spells as a player at Headingley, captaining the club in his second, and returns, initially until the end of the 2022 season, at a time of huge turbulence at a county rocked by the Azeem Rafiq racism allegations.

Rafiq’s allegations led to chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur quitting, while last Friday 16 members of coaching and medical staff were dismissed. Amongst them were first-team coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

Speaking in Australia before the news was confirmed on Monday morning, Root said of Gough: "He's a good man and I'm sure he'll be looking to put his stamp on things at the club.

Darren Gough, the former England international has been appointed as Yorkshire’s new managing director, the county have announced: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

"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 if he is the man to take over."

Barnsley-born Gough was amongst the first to make contact with Rafiq when his allegations of discrimination at Yorkshire became public. He is understood to be eyeing a move for Essex’s Anthony McGrath, another former Yorkshire captain, as the county’s new head coach.

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.

Joe Root inspects the pitch ahead of the start of the Ashes this week (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"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."