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Alastair Cook confirms Graham Thorpe as leading candidate to become England's batting coach

Alastair Cook confirms former English batsman Graham Thorpe as leading candidate to be the England batting coach after Graham Gooch was sacked.

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - MARCH 10:  England batting coach Graham Thorpe speaks to the media during a press conference at the team hotel on March 10, 2014 in Bridgetown, Barbados.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Graham Thorpe

England skipper Alastair Cook admits that it was an agonizing experience to inform Graham Gooch that he was losing his job as the batting coach for England. Gooch has been a key influence in the developmental stages of Cook’s career. Post the 5-0 Ashes defeat against Australia, England have felt the need for a “clean slate” and various changes within the team have been made.

Cook also confirms that Graham Thorpe may lead England as their new batting coach. “Yes he’s obviously in the hat. He’s still one-day batting coach and will be coming to Scotland with us next week,” he said.

But Cook also went on to say: “Whoever gets the job needs to have Goochie’s energy and work ethic. You have to have a very good eye for something technical as well.”

Cook accepts that Gooch’s departure was “tough”.

“It’s been a tough week on that front; everyone knows how close we are as friends. To make a decision on a guy who I have so much respect for and that England have got so much respect for was obviously tough,” said Cook.

“There are sometimes tough decisions you have to make. That’s part and parcel of the job. It was tough asking a man whose autograph I used to get that it’s time to move on,” he added.

However commenting on Gooch’s talent, Cook told Sky Sports News: ”Firstly we need to thank Goochy, he’s been an absolute legend not only for my game but all of our games over the last five years.” 

”We all hold him in such high regard, I have a huge amount of respect for him and what he’s done for English cricket over a huge amount of time, not only as a player but as a coach.” he added.

Not wanting to end contact with Gooch completely, Cook said:  “The relationship will hopefully continue, not just with me. This was a professional decision and we are going to carry on working together. I know Belly [Ian Bell] has used him a hell of a lot and got great rewards and hopefully we can continue doing that on a one-to-one basis. That’s his greatest strength.”

Not withholding comments on Gooch’s contribution in a player’s life, Cook went on to say, “I would never degrade the work that Goochy has done for anyone’s batting. It would be very weak of us as players to blame the coach for outside things. You are the guy that walks over the line.”

England’s ODI series against Scotland, which is due to begin next Friday will be a test not just for the English players but for Peter Moores and Paul Farbrace as well.

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