Darren Gough: Yorkshire appoint former bowler as interim managing director of cricket

Darren Gough bowling for Yorkshire in 2008
Darren Gough retired from cricket in 2008

Former England fast bowler Darren Gough says he wants to make Yorkshire "a better and more inclusive place" after being appointed as interim managing director of cricket at the club.

The 51-year-old has been given the role until the end of the 2022 season in place of Martyn Moxon.

Moxon was one of 16 people to leave the club last week amid the racism scandal.

"Being out of the dressing room for 14 years has helped me in my education," Gough told Talksport on Monday.

A report found former player Azeem Rafiq was a victim of "racial harassment and bullying" at Yorkshire.

Gough, who spent 15 years at Yorkshire over two spells, said he wants to "play my part in rebuilding" the club.

"We need to rebuild a culture and make Yorkshire a better, more inclusive place," he said.

"That's what I see as the vision for the club at this moment in time."

Gough will start his role immediately and has stepped down from his job as a presenter on radio station Talksport, which he has held since retiring in 2008.

He made his debut for Yorkshire in 1989 and was part of the squad who won the 2001 County Championship, which was the club's first victory in 33 years.

He left to join Essex in 2004 before returning to Yorkshire as captain in 2007.

Gough made his Test debut for England in 1994, going on to take 229 wickets at an average of 28.39 in 58 matches.

He played 159 one-day internationals, taking 235 wickets - the second-most for England after James Anderson (269) - at an average of 26.42.

In 2019, Gough was appointed as England's fast bowling consultant for the build-up to the two-Test series against New Zealand.

"We are delighted to welcome Darren back to the club, and are very happy that he has taken the job," said Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel.

"As a former captain of the club, Darren's impact on the Yorkshire and England teams was considerable as a player. His infectious enthusiasm and will to win will be so important as we aim to be the best on and off the pitch.

"As we start on this journey with Darren, we want to engage everyone at the club and involve as many people as possible in shaping our direction. We have a considerable job ahead of us, but we are ready to embrace the opportunity together and build a brighter future for Yorkshire."

Lord Patel became Yorkshire's chairman after Roger Hutton resigned in November during widespread criticism of how the club handled the Rafiq case.

Rafiq, who played for Yorkshire in two spells between 2008 and 2018, told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee that racist language was "constantly" used during his time at the club and described English cricket as "institutionally racist".

Rafiq detailed his experiences at Yorkshire, which left him close to taking his own life, for the first time in September 2020. After the findings of the report were released a year later, Yorkshire originally said no-one at the club would be disciplined.

Yorkshire announced Moxon, head coach Andrew Gale and all members of the coaching staff had left the club on Friday.

Gale told BBC Sport he will begin a legal fight against the club's decision to sack him.

"I share Lord Patel's vision for Yorkshire and the collective determination to face the issues head on with a series of positive actions," added Gough.

"Like many, I have followed how the club handled the recent racism allegations with sadness and anger.

"I want to play my part in rebuilding cricket in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to working with the exceptionally talented group of players here.

"I am also aware of my wider responsibility to listen to everyone and ensure that every person who is associated with this club feels welcome, instilling values we want associated with the White Rose: honesty, straight talking, hard work, integrity and excellence."

When asked about Gough taking over before the appointment was confirmed, England Test captain and Yorkshire batter Joe Root said: "He's a good man and I'm sure he'll be looking to put his stamp on the job.

"From my experiences spending time with Goughie, he's obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about the game, his love for it is clear for everyone to see and for the club as well."

Root said he "absolutely" would take a call from Gough if he were to contact him for assistance.

"I want to do everything I can to help move the club forward and welcome any of those phone calls," added Root.

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