The announcement came after another disappointing England performance, Australia winning by an innings and 148 runs. The departure of Gooch, 40, had been expected and he went straight to the point before a battery of cameras: 'There will be another England captain this week. I've done my best. I feel the team need fresh ideas and a fresh face to look to.'
The exit was not witnessed by the man presiding over a successor's appointment tomorrow. Ted Dexter, the England committee chairman, was in London, presumably considering the merits of Alec Stewart, Mike Atherton, or Mike Gatting.
One England cricket captain did enjoy success yesterday, Karen Smithies presiding over a 43-run victory against Australia in the women's World Cup at Guildford.
Test report, page 32
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