Coach Ford steps down

- Agence France-Presse, Colombo

Jun 25, 2017-

Sri Lanka’s cricket coach Graham Ford has quit, officials said Saturday, midway through a 45-month contract and just two weeks after the team’s early exit from the Champions Trophy. 

Sri Lanka’s cricket board said the 56-year-old South African was ending his second stint with the team after a “decision arrived at mutually.” No immediate replacement was announced. Sri Lanka will play a home series of five ODI matches and one Test against Zimbabwe from the end of this month. Ford, who was previously with Sri Lanka from 2012 to 2014, had said he faced a huge rebuilding task when he returned to the team in February last year.  Sri Lanka failed to reach the semi-finals of this month’s Champions Trophy in England. 

“Sri Lanka has grown on me, and although we’ve made the decision to part ways where coaching is concerned, she will always have a little piece of my heart,” Ford said. After he took the job in February last year, Sri Lanka whitewashed their three-Test home series against then world No 1 Australia. 

He had been due to coach them until the next World Cup in 2019. “He joined us at a time when we were quoted by the ICC as being on the ‘verge of suspension’ and at a time when things were volatile,” said SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala. “Ford had 

faith in us and has given us his fullest support. Ford epitomises the character of cricket as a true gentleman, and we are indeed sorry to see him go.”

 Ford, who has also coached South Africa, Surrey and Kent, ended his first spell in Sri Lanka in 2014 when his two-year contract expired.

Published: 25-06-2017 09:49

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