Saturday, 14 April 2007

Darren Gough

As the 2007 county season approaches, we will be compiling a list of six men to watch; not necessarily the finest players, but those with particularly significant and interesting seasons ahead.

Darren Gough (Yorkshire)
Many people expected Darren Gough to retire when, for all his bravado, he was – probably correctly – omitted from England’s World Cup squad. He stalled on a contract offer from Essex before – incredibly – being named new Yorkshire skipper.

With Jacques Rudoph’s signing confirmed and Anthony McGrath opting to stay, Yorkshire, after a highly tumultuous winter, were suddenly all smiles. The failings – and desperation - of appointing a 36-year-old with a suspect knee were badly remarked upon. In reality, Gough will do very well to play in 10 of Yorkshire Championship matches, so either McGrath (who originally rejected the job) or Younis Khan will have to fill-in regularly.

What Gough does have to offer, though, is an infectious love of cricket – particularly Yorkshire cricket – which will be very welcome after a turbulent few seasons. If he can inject a genuine sense of enjoyment and camaraderie, a very talented side should avoid the profound relegation concerns of last season.

As a captain, Gough will surely be instinctive and attacking, for that is how he has always played the game. He has a cannier cricket brain than he lets on, and has vast experience of the county game. But for him to be a success it is essential that his bowling leads by example; if not, his waning on-field powers could undermine his captaincy.

2007 Yorkshire Preview


Chrispy said...

You highlighted the weakness there Tim, his waning on field powers, especially in the longer version. Great character, infectious love for the game, but I too can't see him playing 16 four day games and hauling in bucket loads of wickets.

Richard Lake said...

Ant McGrath is vice aptain so will take on the role when Gough is "rested". mags didn't want the captaincy because he didn't want to stay. Now he's committed to the team, I'd expect him to be captain in the next couple of years, when gough stands down.

I wouldn't expect Goughy to play more than half of the games, but with Jason Gillespie, Tim Bresnan and Deon Kruis and Hoggy likely to play about half of the games himself due to the make up of the International summer, that probably won't be a problem.

His strength will be in inspiring the raft of young bowlers we've got at the club (Nick Thornicroft, Ajmal Shahzad, John Lee)

Tim said...

We shall see! They've started pretty well against Surrey today.