Darren Gough is new managing director of cricket at Yorkshire

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Yorkshire County Cricket Club has today announced its appointment of Darren Gough as managing director of Yorkshire Cricket on an interim basis – initially until the conclusion of the 2022 season.

The former England fast bowler starts his work for the club today, and will be relinquishing his media duties.

One of his immediate priorities will be overseeing the recruitment of a new coaching team.

It comes after an exodus of club staff, following revelations of racist abuse suffered by former player Azeem Rafiq.

Gough said: “Yorkshire County Cricket Club has been part of my life since my earliest days in cricket when I made my debut in 1989, and I spent 15 happy years at the club.

“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.

“I share Lord Patel’s vision for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and the collective determination to face the issues head on with a series of positive actions.

“Change will not happen overnight, but I am certain that we can make Headingley roar again”.

Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford, chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “We are delighted to welcome Darren back to the club, and are very happy that he has taken the job.

“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 County Cricket Club.”

In his domestic career, Gough played county cricket for Yorkshire for 15 years. He was a member of the 2001 squad that won the 2001 County Championship and, after captaining Essex, he returned to captain Yorkshire in 2007 and 2008 before retiring at the end of the 2008 season.

Regarded as one of England’s greatest fast bowlers, he is England’s 12th most successful wicket taker in Test Match history.

He made history as England’s first cricketer to take over 200 (235) wickets in One Day Internationals and is the only Englishman in a century to get a hat-trick in a Test Match against Australia in Australia, in 1998.

Gough is Ambassador to the Sir Stanley Matthews Coaching Foundation and was a catalyst in developing and implementing a grassroots cricket coaching program in Yorkshire, to provide young people with the skills and the opportunity to obtain their ECB Level 1 Coaching qualification to coach young children in their communities.

He has been talkSPORT’s lead cricket commentator for England’s biggest International Test Matches from 2018-2021, as well as hosting the Drive Time show.

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