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Cook laments 'tough' phone call to cricket legend Gooch

LONDON -- Alastair Cook said he'd made one of the hardest telephone calls of his career to tell boyhood hero Graham Gooch he was no longer needed by England.

Cook, the England captain, was mentored through the ranks at Essex by Gooch, one of the county's greatest players and England's record Test run-scorer, before working alongside him at international level.

But Thursday saw Gooch become one of the first backroom casualties of Peter Moores's second spell as England coach when he was dismissed as batting coach.

It appeared the 60-year-old former captain, like Cook an opening batsman, was paying the price for England having failed to make the benchmark total of 400 in a Test innings since March 2013 — a key factor in their recent 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

Cook, who will captain England in a one-day international away to Scotland next week, said his most recent conversation with Gooch had been one of the most difficult he'd known.

“Everyone knows how close we are — and we've been through quite a lot together,” said Cook.

“To make a decision on a guy I've had so much respect for, and the whole of England has, was tough.

“I was telling a man, who I used to go and queue up to get his autograph and hope he'd score runs, that it's time to move on. I'll remember that for a long time.”

“But the caliber of Goochie especially, as a person, he was telling me: 'I totally understand.'

“For him to say that, when a 29-year-old is telling him 'we want to move on,' shows just why I hold him in such high regard.”

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