Cook rues 'tough' Gooch exit

England

England captain Alastair Cook has conceded the decision to remove former skipper Graham Gooch as batting coach was not easy.

England captain Alastair Cook has conceded the decision to remove former skipper Graham Gooch as batting coach was not easy.

Gooch has been dismissed on the back of a five-nil Test series whitewash at the hands of Australia, who have since moved to the helm of the ICC rankings ahead of South Africa, earlier this year.

"Everyone knows how close we are – and we've been through quite a lot together. To make a decision on a guy I've had so much respect for, and the whole of England has, was tough," said Cook.

"I was telling a man, who I used to go and queue up to get his autograph and hope he'd score runs, that it's time to move on. I'll remember that for a long time. But the calibre of Gooch especially, as a person, he was telling me 'I totally understand'.

"For him to say that, when a 29-year-old is telling him 'we want to move on', shows just why I hold him in such high regard. I hope that relationship will continue – not just with me."

England exile Kevin Pietersen recently, on Twitter, sarcastically expressed interest in replacing Gooch. Cook, though, insisted the outspoken right-hander, who is currently playing for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, won't feature in England's plans for the foreseeable future.

"The Kevin stuff is always going to linger on, because of social media and the way that works. As a side, we have to move on. The decision has been made," he added.

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