Cricket: Gooch is captain for India

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THERE may be much wrong with the England team at the moment, but not, according to the selectors, with their captain. That much was confirmed yesterday when Graham Gooch accepted an offer to lead England in India and Sri Lanka this winter.

Despite Pakistan's series-clinching victory at The Oval, the announcement was never in doubt once Gooch had declared his availability for 'one last trip after a lot of soul-searching' and his mentor, Keith Fletcher, had been invited to succeed Micky Stewart as England manager. 'I don't suppose I have to say that this is really good news,' Ted Dexter, the chairman of the England committee, said.

Gooch, 39 three weeks ago, can now look forward to kicking off the three-match rubber against India with his 100th Test cap. The Lancashire chairman, Bob Bennett, meanwhile, has been retained as tour manager. The full party is due to be named on 7 September.