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Graham Gooch axed as England's batting coach

London: Former England skipper Graham Gooch has been forced to step down as the national cricket team's batting coach, as skipper Alastair Cook and newly appointed head coach Peter Moores are keen on having a new set-up.

Graham GoochFormer England skipper Graham Gooch. File Pic

Gooch, who joined as a part-time batting coach in 2009, informed that the decision was taken after consultation with Cook and Moores.

England's most prolific run-getter, Gooch said, "Alastair 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."

Gooch, England's record run-scorer in Tests with 8,900 runs in 118 matches, steps down ahead of Moores' first game in charge -- an ODI vs Scotland on May 9.

The 29-year-old Cook, who has admired Gooch as a youngster, said that the task of communicating this news was tough for him. "To be the guy who rang him up to tell him we're looking to freshen up the coaching staff was incredibly tough for me personally. He's a great man," Cook told BBC.

"But we have made the decision which we think will benefit the England cricket team.

There has to be some freshening up - otherwise you get stuck in the past," he added.

60-year-old Gooch, meanwhile, still backs Cook to lead England in the near future: "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."

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