Essex rename stands in honour of Gooch and Cook

Essex legends Graham Gooch and Sir Alastair Cook
Graham Gooch and Sir Alastair Cook accumulated almost 50 years of service to Essex between them

Essex have renamed two stands in honour of club legends and ex-England captains Sir Alastair Cook and Graham Gooch.

The Cloud County Ground’s Hayes Close End becomes the Graham Gooch End while the River End is rebranded after Cook.

Both batters were one-county men, each plying their trade for Essex for more than two decades, Gooch from 1974 to 1997 and Cook from 2003 to 2023.

Essex chief executive John Stephenson said the club wanted to “pay tribute to two of our finest players of all time”.

“For their respective contributions to our club, I can’t think of many people more deserving of this honour than Graham and Sir Alastair,” he told the Essex website.external-link

Gooch, 70, played 391 first-class games for Essex, scoring 30,701 runs at an average of 51.77 as well as hitting 67,057 runs for England across 118 Tests and 125 one-day internationals, captaining his country 34 times.

He was England’s all-time leading Test run scorer for more than 20 years – until he was overtaken by protege Cook, who Gooch coached for both club and country, in 2015.

Cook, 39, who retired from professional cricket last year, still holds that record, having amassed 12,472 runs in 161 Tests, captaining England in 59 of them.

He scored 11,337 runs in 158 first-class matches for Essex, averaging 45.16 and hitting 31 centuries.

“It’s a real honour to rename the bowling ends at The Cloud County Ground after two legends of Essex cricket,” Stephenson added.

“We’re a club with a long history, and it’s important that we recognise that. The renaming of our ground ends allows us to pay tribute to two of our finest players of all time.”


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