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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 15:11 GMT
Gough back as Yorkshire captain
Darren Gough
Gough played for Yorkshire for 15 years before his move south
Yorkshire have signed veteran fast bowler Darren Gough as captain.

Barnsley-born Gough, 36, made his debut for Yorkshire in 1989 before spending the last three years playing for Essex.

Gough said: "I thought today would never happen when I left. It's a challenge to come back as captain and the biggest accolade I could ask for.

"We've had 10 players leave over the past six years. People haven't been happy here so I want to get everyone together and try to move forward."

606: DEBATE
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Gough revealed that he was close to a dramatic recall for the World Cup, having last played for England in 2006.

"I was told I was just about there but obviously when England win their three or four last matches, you miss out," he told Sky Sports News.

"I'm 36 years old, I can still bat and bowl. I can still do a job. I wish I was there but I wish England well. You never say never. My job is now with Yorkshire."

He retired from Test cricket in 2003 after taking 229 wickets in 58 appearances.

In 159 one-day internationals, he has 235 wickets, a national record.

Chairman Colin Graves said: "There is nobody in the game who has as much enthusiasm or knowledge, or is as dedicated as Darren Gough is.

It was the opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn't turn it down

Darren Gough

"When I spoke to him six weeks ago he said he had unfinished business at Yorkshire. This is a fantastic day for Yorkshire County Cricket Club."

Gough explained the background to his belated return to Yorkshire.

"Essex offered me a contract last August," he said. "It was a good contract.

"But when Yorkshire did get in touch and Geoffrey Boycott - who I've seen all around the world this winter - got involved, it came to a point where it was the opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn't turn it down.

"Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Essex and made some good friends, I am a Yorkshire lad through and through and have always had a desire to return as captain.

"We have a very strong squad here, some impressive young kids coming through the academy and there is no reason why we shouldn't go on and be successful once again.

"I am very impressed with the Board's plans and am delighted to be coming back."

BBC Sport understands that all-rounder Anthony McGrath, who wanted to move away from Headingley despite having two years left on his contract, could now be persuaded to end his differences with the club.

Essex chief executive David East said: "It is with regret that Darren has decided to leave after we initially had high hopes over the winter that he would sign a new contract with the club.

"As is widely acknowledged, Darren's ties to Yorkshire are strong and we understand his desire to return to play for his county of birth.

"Everyone connected with Essex would like to thank Darren for his outstanding service with the club."

SEE ALSO
TMS comment: Great Gough
28 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Comment: So long, Goughie
24 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Gough set to return to Yorkshire
24 Feb 07 |  Yorkshire
Graveney issues apology to Gough
18 Jan 07 |  England


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