Cricket: Gooch axed as England's batting coach in first change under Moores

LONDON (AFP)- - Graham Gooch was on Thursday dismissed from his role as England batting coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.

The 60-year-old, who has held the job full-time since March 2012, said he was "sad" after becoming the first casualty of the new England era under returning head coach Peter Moores.

"After discussions with (captain) Alastair Cook he informed me that he was in favour of change," he said in an ECB statement.

"Although this was sad news, I respect his, and new coach Peter Moores, right to implement this change of direction.

"In my opinion Alastair is the right man to captain England, he commands respect and will always put his body on the line for his country.

"He will face many challenges and have many more tough decisions to make before his journey ends. Over the last decade or so he has been the ultimate professional to work with and it has been an honour to see him develop."

Gooch, who began working as a consultant batting coach with England in November 2009, was praised as "an outstanding coach" by Paul Downton, managing director of the ECB.

"Graham's record as a player speaks for itself but as a coach his ability to mentor and develop players has helped England achieve a huge amount in recent years," said Downton.

"I have no doubt that we will continue to see his influence on this current generation of England players and future generations can learn a lot from his passion and dedication to the game.

"In the past few years Graham has developed exceptional and successful professional relationships with several England batsmen which I will encourage him to maintain."