Darren Gough was having a great post-retirement life commentating on cricket, watching some football and was scheduled to be at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar as a broadcaster.
But a call from Lord Patel, the new Yorkshire County Cricket Club chairman a few months ago to join as director of cricket made the former England pacer drop everything and come on board.
Yorkshire came under intense scrutiny after its off-spinner of Pakistan origin, Azeem Rafiq rocked the world with startling revelations about deep-rooted racism in the team.
Three months into his job, he is not regretting it one bit. “I was like this is an opportunity of a lifetime. I had the opportunity to reshape Yorkshire. It was always a great club, but it was going through some terrible times. We all needed to be educated and move forward together. We want to make Yorkshire county where people around the world will say that this is how a cricket club should be,” Gough told mid-day on Tuesday. He is in the city with his Yorkshire chairman to announce the partnership with Clean Slate Filmz, an Indian production house and distribution company owned by Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma and her brother Karnesh Sharma.
Gough’s role at Yorkshire was to make key cricket-related appointments in the aftermath of the racism row. “I got that opportunity to employ the coaching staff, physios, trainers. It’s been three months of hard work. I have never interviewed so many people,” he said.
Gough, who claimed 229 Test wickets and 235 ODI scalps, is looking forward to the new county season. “We have managed to sign some incredible international talent like Shadab Khan, Harris Rauf, Finn Allen and are going to announce another batsman, who is also captain of a national team in the next 48 hours,” he signed off.