Graham Gooch was the most prolific run scorer top-class cricket has ever seen. After he retired in 1997, the statistician Robert Brooke calculated that he had scored 21,087 in one-day cricket at first-class level, this added to his 44,841 first-class runs, which put him ahead of Jack Hobbs. It was an amazing achievement. Graham Gooch was awarded an OBE for his services to cricket in 1991.
In 1973 Graham made his first-class debut, he was soon in the runs, and he made his maiden ton a year later. 1975 was the breakthrough year. Playing for the MCC against the touring Australians and making 75, he was soon the name on everyone’s lips. Gooch was subsequently picked for the Edgbaston test. Whether this was too early for him, or the pressure was too much, Gooch failed and made a pair. He was subsequently dropped and it was only in 1978 that he made his comeback. A year later Gooch was instrumental inEssexcapturing their first trophy in 103 years of the club.
The most controversial aspect of Graham’s career came in 1982 when he decided to lead the firstEnglandrebel tour ofSouth Africa. He was subsequently banned from test cricket for three years.
1990 was a great year in Graham’s career, he averaged over 100 with the test match at Lord’s againstIndiabeing the highlight. In this one match Graham hit the world record test run aggregate (456), he became holder of the highest score at Lord’s (333), he was the first ever player to score a triple-century and a century in a match, he took the record for the highest test score against India and achieved the highest score by an England Captain. Of all his great test innings one stands out in particular, at Headingley, against theWest Indiesin 1991. Graham carried his bat for a score of 154 not out, out of a total of 252 on a green wicket which was regularly enlivened by the damp weather.
In all Graham led theEnglandside 34 times and was captain in the 1992 World Cup final defeat byPakistan. He played inEngland’s two other World Cup finals in 1979 and 1987. Currently he is England’s leading test run maker with a total of 8,900 runs and 20 centuries.
In 1996 Graham was appointed anEnglandselector and held that position for four seasons. Since 2002 he has been Essex County Cricket Club’s Head Coach but as from 2005 he accepted a wider role within the club.
Graham Gooch has acquired a vast fund of stories which he delivers in his own style. He is articulate, well informed and can motivate, inspire, entertain and create an individual’s awareness of self-achievement. He has an established reputation as a humorous after dinner speaker and is in demand at corporate, social and sporting events.