Yorkshire interested in Gough despite expense

Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2002, 17:27 [IST]
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London: Yorkshire insisted on Monday it wanted England fast bowler Darren Gough to stay at Headingley although it admitted his fitness record was a concern. Injuries and international matches have restricted his Yorkshire appearances in recent seasons. And with Yorkshire facing severe financial problems, some of its followers have asked if Gough is an expensive luxury the club can ill-afford. Yorkshire's financial problems have been caused by a near two million-Pound ($ 3.2 million) overspend on the 11-million re-development of its Headingley headquarters in Leeds. Before this season the police investigated the club's shop and merchandise operation after its declared income had fallen from just over 32000 pounds to 460 pounds. For his part Gough, 32, has also accused some of the county's members in indulging in a "whispering campaign" against him. But the club said it did not want to lose Gough. "We want Darren to play for Yorkshire and Darren wants to play for us," explained newly appointed Yorkshire chief executive Colin Graves. "Clearly though there is an issue about his fitness, so we will continue to discuss the matter over the coming weeks." Gough is currently recovering from his third knee operation this year as he bids to regain fitness head of England's Ashes tour of Australia. He was sidelined for the bulk of the season with the problem and has not played Test cricket since the fifth match of England's home series against Australia last year. Despite his fitness problems, Gough is still regarded as England's premier fast bowler. In 56 Tests he has taken 228 wickets at an average of 27.57. England's first Test against Australia starts on November 7, at the Gabba in Brisbane. Australia has won the last seven Ashes series, England not victorious since Mike Gatting's tour of 1986-87.

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