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Darren Gough steps down as Yorkshire’s managing director of cricket amid racism fall-out

Darren Gough
Darren Gough was appointed to the post in December 2021 - PA/Mike Egerton

Darren Gough has left Yorkshire by mutual consent less than a month before the start of the new season.

The former England fast bowler was appointed managing director of cricket at the country’s biggest club in December 2021 in the wake of the racism scandal to engulf them.

He was brought in on big money – it is said to have taken a salary of £260,000 to prise him away from his presenting job on talkSPORT, well in excess of his peers – but failed to stop Yorkshire’s relegation from Division 1 of the County Championship in his first season.

His departure comes weeks after Colin Graves returned as chairman to save the debt-ridden club from being plunged into administration.

Telegraph Sport can reveal he is set to be followed out the door by chief executive Stephen Vaughan, who has agreed to leave once a successor is found.

Gough said: “It’s been an absolute honour to work for my boyhood club over the last two seasons.

“Having stepped in at a very challenging time, we’ve worked hard to steady the ship and develop our cricket department to ensure we can return to the top tier of English cricket.

“Following conversations with the club, I have decided now is the right time to step away from my role and give someone else an opportunity to take our playing squads forward.

“I’d like to thank all of our players, staff, members and fans for their considerable support over the last few seasons and wish them all the very best for the coming year. I will always be a Yorkshire Cricket supporter and look forward to returning to watch our teams in the coming years.”

Gough’s departure comes days after he was branded “despicable” by the county’s former medical chief for taking the job in the first place.

Wayne Morton, one of those thrown out of the club for raising concerns about their handling of Azeem Rafiq’s complaints of racism, claimed he had been a “second dad” to Gough and could not believe the 53-year-old had accepted the role while “his friends and former colleagues suffered”.

After joining Yorkshire, Gough said he would seek answers about why the club had sacked their entire coaching team, including some of his friends, stressing he had taken the job because it was “an emergency situation”.

Paying tribute to Gough, Graves said: “I’d like to express our sincere thanks to Darren for the work he has put in over the last few seasons.

“Darren is a club legend in his own right having enjoyed two very successful stints as a player here and now helped us through some very difficult times.

“Everyone at the club would like to wish him all the best for the future, and we look forward to welcoming him back to Headingley again soon.”

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