By Brian Halford
Warwickshire’s batsmen are getting guidance from the very top drawer as they prepare for the new season after Graham Gooch accepted a role as batting consultant with the club.
Gooch, who scored 8,900 Test runs for England and is now one of the most respected coaches in the world, has had a number of one-to-one sessions with the Bears and will return at times throughout the season.
Warwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown sought out the England legend in a bid to get the very best from his top order during the coming campaign.
“Graham is a very impressive bloke whose record speaks for itself and for our guys to get advice from somebody like him is pretty powerful,” Brown said.
“Our England guys know him well and how he works and are all really pleased that he is involved. He sets incredibly high standards.
“His job isn’t to change people in any dramatic way but just to offer advice. He talks a very straightforward game and we think it will pay huge rewards.”
Our England guys know him well and how he works and are all really pleased that he is involved. He sets incredibly high standards.Dougie Brown
Gooch played 118 Tests for England, the same number as Ian Bell has so far, with a batting average of 42.58 (Bell’s is 42.69). He hit 20 Test centuries with a highest of 333 against India at Lord’s in 1990, a knock which left India perhaps regretting their decision to bowl.
His mighty Test career blossomed after an inauspicious start. He made his debut at Edgbaston in 1975, against Australia with Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in their prime – and copped a pair.
Now 62, Gooch also scored eight centuries in 125 ODIs on his way to 67,057 runs during a senior cricket career which stretched from 1973 to 2000.
Post-playing he quickly became a highly respected coach with current England captain Alastair Cook among those to count Gooch as a major influence.
Brown added: “Graham is a really good guy to have on board. He doesn’t pull any punches and having him around will just bring that extra expertise to us as we try to be as well-equipped as we can possibly be in all departments for the 2016 season.”
So far Graham has completed two of the four coaching dates he is contracted for and the feedback has been very positive from our players. Graham hasn’t joined our Cricket Management Team on a full time basis, he is purely a consultant and Tony Frost remains our batting coach.