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Gooch funds Essex Academy

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Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch © Getty Images

Essex batting coach and club ambassador Graham Gooch has announced he is to sponsor the Essex Academy.

Gooch will provide funds of £30,000 a year for the next three years to support the Graham Gooch Essex Cricket Academy with the agreement to be reviewed after one year.

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The former Essex and England batsman said: “With the money raised on my successful World Cup cruise in February I have been looking to support the future of Essex cricket in an enhanced way in addition to my Scholarship Scheme that sends players abroad over the winter.

“The Academy is the first place where future talents are unearthed. I see academy players taking their first step towards professional cricket when they are selected to go on it, graduating from there to academy professional and then finally to professional status.

“By making this contribution I am giving the sponsors and supporters of my scholarship functions some visibility in terms of what I do with the proceeds.

“I see this as being my way of putting something back into the game and of making a difference.”

Gooch will present his first cheque for £30,000 to Essex chairman Nigel Hilliard, director of cricket operations Alan Lilley and chief executive David East during the interval of Monday’s NatWest Pro40 game between Essex Eagles and Gloucestershire Gladiators.

Academy director John Childs added: “This is a tremendous boost to the academy. Graham has already supported the young players in going to Mumbai to the World Cricket Academy and we know his heart is with the future of the club.

“This will give the academy players more opportunities in the years to come so we are delighted.”