India's hunt for a coach June 10, 2007

Ford set for discussions with Kent

Cricinfo staff

Graham Ford: set for negotiations with Kent © Getty Images

A joining date for Graham Ford, chosen yesterday as the coach of the Indian side, is likely to become clearer sometime tomorrow when he sits down for talks over his current contract with Kent County Cricket Club.

Paul Millman, Kent's chief executive, said that the county were keen to retain him but also suggested that they would respect whatever decision he would take. "Graham is due back later today and we will sit down and talk with him then," Millman told Cricinfo a day after the Indian board had chosen Ford over John Emburey for the job.

"We have always been fairly relaxed about the situation," Millman said about Ford's contract, which lasts till September 2008. "As far as we are concerned he went on a fact-finding trip and we don't yet know what he has found out. He is still employed by us, but clearly there is an offer on the table, but we don't know whether he has taken it. We are obviously keen to keep him but things will take their course when we talk to Graham."

Ford was confident that Kent wouldn't stand in his way of taking up the Indian job. "I've got the County's support, but we haven't discussed an early release from my contract which, as you know, runs till September 2008," he was quoted as saying in the Kolkata Telegraph. "I'll begin discussions [with Kent] ... I'm sure the County won't stand in the way."

The discussion is set to take place after its penultimate group match in the Friends Provident Trophy against Hampshire on June 11. "Discussions with Ford will take place after the match," a statement issued by the county side said. "It is hoped that the popular South African will remain at Canterbury to continue the progress made towards re-establishing Kent as a major force."

The Indian board were waiting for Ford to get back to them about his existing contract with Kent, Ratnakar Shetty, the Chief Administrative Officer of the BCCI, confirmed. "He is expected to get back to us soon, once he discusses the matter with them."

India's cricket chiefs expect Ford to get back to them sometime tomorrow (June 11). They hope he would join the team ahead of the tours of Ireland and England, starting later this month.