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The 58-year-old has stepped down as Essex’s batting coach

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Graham Gooch is to focus purely on his role as full-time England coach and has stepped down as Essex’s batting coach.

The 58-year-old played an instrumental role in helping England reach number one in the world in Test cricket and will focus on maintaining Andrew Strauss’ men there.

Since undertaking the role in November 2009, England’s batsmen have scored seven double hundreds compared to six double hundreds since Gooch, himself, scored 210 against New Zealand in 1994.

“I’m sad that I am unable to continue my coaching duties with Essex,” Gooch said.

“I never wanted to relinquish this role at the Club working with Paul but as my England commitments have grown it is now impossible to do justice to both roles.

“I look forward to supporting Essex Cricket in the future through my work as the Club Ambassador.”

Meanwhile Matt Walker has been appointed as Assistant First Team Coach.

He joined the club from Kent in 2009 and although he will be registered as a player his role will mainly be coaching.

I am very honoured and flattered to be asked to become Assistant Coach to Paul (Grayson) at Essex,” Walker said.

“I am very much looking forward to the new role, especially working with an exciting group of players.

“Although I will be registered as a player, I’m extremely focused on helping Paul Grayson and the rest of the coaching staff achieve success in the near future.”

Essex Head Coach Grayson was sad to see the former England captain, who averaged 43 with the bat in 118 Tests, leave but understood his reasons.

“We want to thank Graham for his services with the coaching side of the team,” he said.

“He has been a massive support to both the playing squad and myself but we understand his England requirements he has.

“I am really excited to be working alongside Matt Walker as he has vast knowledge of the game and I know he is looking forward to this next chapter of his career.”

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