Gooch: Cook the man to lead England

Graham Gooch, right, has given his backing to Alastair Cook, left

Graham Gooch, right, has given his backing to Alastair Cook, left

First published in National Sport News © by

Alastair Cook is the right man to captain England in future despite the abject Ashes tour to Australia, Graham Gooch insisted on Wednesday.

Debate has raged on the future of the England team following the 5-0 Ashes whitewash and Andy Flower has already resigned as team director.

Cook's position has also come under scrutiny, but England batting coach Gooch has no doubts the 29-year-old is the right man for the job.

"I sincerely believe he is," said Gooch, who was speaking at Essex's Chelmsford ground as the county unveiled the 1EasyCall Stand and announced partnerships with ROL Cruise and Springfield Hospital.

"He's well respected. He will put his body on the line for his country.

"I don't see any reason why he will not be a successful leader again in the future.

"Yes, he needs to make improvements. Yes, he needs to look at things himself, the way he goes about things.

"But that's the same with any player, and any cricketer, throughout his career. They're always looking to upgrade and make improvements to themselves and the way they go about their cricket," added Gooch, himself a former England captain and Essex opener.

No doubt Cook is undergoing moments of introspection at his Bedfordshire farm after a calamitous series which was also the conclusion to Kevin Pietersen's controversial England career.

The England captain will have distractions before resuming international duty in the summer as his wife, Alice, is expecting their first child, due in March, and he is anticipated to feature for Essex early in the domestic season.

Gooch said: "I'm sure he'll have a good rest and I'm sure he'll look forward to coming back here and playing for Essex at the start of the season.

"He'll be committed to do well for Essex before the international season starts."

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