County news September 29, 2008

Ford likely to stay at Kent

Cricinfo staff

Robert Key ended 2008 empty-handed, but Graham Ford isn't about to jump ship © Getty Images

Graham Ford, the Kent coach, says he will stay with the county despite their relegation from Division One of the County Championship. The decision means Ford looks to be out of the reckoning to succeed John Bracewell as New Zealand coach, a position he was interviewed for.

"I'm firmly with Kent," he told BBC Radio Kent. "I've had opportunities to go before and one certainly doesn't want to run away when things haven't gone at their best. There's a lot of resolve and determination in the dressing room and it's a fantastic group of guys to work with. I know they'll be giving 120% to get back to first division status."

Kent had a better run in the limited-overs competitions, but came up short three times. They lost a close Twenty20 final against Middlesex, were beaten in the FP Trophy final by Essex, and again lost to Essex in the deciding Pro40 match.

"Possibly over the last few years we focused a lot more of our preparations on one-day cricket and even our summer signings have been one-day cricket orientated," Ford said. "So we're really going to have to look at that and make sure that we get our four-day cricket back up to where it should be."

In 2007 Ford, who has previously coached South Africa, was set to take over as India's coach, but he opted to stay on with Kent. He had also declined an offer to coach Sri Lanka in 2003.

New Zealand Cricket is yet to announce a replacement for Bracewell, who will return to Gloucestershire as head coach in 2009. South Africa coach Mickey Arthur, Australian Matthew Mott, former New Zealand offspinner Dipak Patel and former Warwickshire opener Andy Moles are other names doing the rounds.