London: Former England pace bowler Darren Gough is the frontrunner to take over as the director of cricket at Yorkshire after several high-profile officials, including director of cricket Martyn Moxon and first team coach Andrew Gale, were sacked in the wake of the cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism in the county side.
“Having spent 15 years on the playing staff at Headingley across two spells, the former England fast bowler is understood to be viewed by the new Yorkshire hierarchy, led by chairman Lord (Kamlesh) Patel, as the kind of character the club require as a figurehead,” a media report said on Saturday.
Yorkshire had announced on Friday that the entire coaching staff of the club, including Moxon and Gale will leave the club post the racism allegations made by Rafiq. Moxon had been on leave due to a stress-related illness while Gale had been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing since November 9 on ‘historical tweets’ made 11 years ago.
“We can confirm that Martyn Moxon, Director of Cricket, and Andrew Gale, First XI Coach, have left the Club (December 3), in addition to all members of the coaching team. A new Director of Cricket will be appointed imminently, alongside a new coaching team which is being recruited. The backroom medical team, external services provided by Pavilion Physiotherapy Clinic, has also left the Club. An interim medical team is also in the process of being appointed,” a statement by Lord Patel had said on Friday.
The total departures from the club are 16 and happen after club president Roger Hutton resigned on November 5, and chief executive Mark Arthur stepped down a week later.
“Crucially, perhaps, he (Gough) has an excellent relationship with Azeem Rafiq, the whistleblower whose allegations of institutional racism led to sweeping changes at Yorkshire. The pair both come from Barnsley and Gough offered Rafiq support earlier this year after his revelations came to light. Gough’s ability to inspire, as both a unifying force and as one of Yorkshire’s most successful internationals, appears to make him the ideal fit despite his lack of experience and time out of the game,” said the report.