Sri Lanka news January 22, 2012

Marsh to be replaced by Ford as coach


Sri Lanka Cricket are set to replace current coach Geoff Marsh with Graham Ford, the former South Africa coach, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The decision, which is expected to be announced after the one-day series against South Africa, is the latest by the board to revamp the set-up around the national team - the selection panel was replaced last week and it is believed the captaincy is also set to change hands.

Ford earlier this week resigned as head coach of the Dolphins, the Durban-based franchise, saying he wanted to "follow my dreams of involvement at an international level".

He will be the third coach appointed by Sri Lanka since Trevor Bayliss stepped down after leading them to the 2011 World Cup final. Marsh was appointed for two years in September, 2011 and was in charge for the tours against Pakistan and South Africa. His appointment appeared to end a period of upheaval following Bayliss' exit. Stuart Law, who was Bayliss' assistant, took over for the England tour before quitting to coach Bangladesh. Rumesh Ratnayake then took over for the home series against Australia, before Marsh's appointment.

Ford took over as coach of South Africa from Bob Woolmer in 1999 and held the position till 2001. He moved to Kent as director of cricket in 2004, and in 2006 he returned home to take charge of the Dolphins. In June 2007, he was offered the challenge of coaching India but declined. In 2009, he withdrew his name from the shortlist of candidates for the England coaching job.

Sri Lanka has come in for much criticism since reaching the World Cup final, having lost every Test and ODI series they have played since then and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan might also be replaced by Mahela Jayawardene following their poor performance in South Africa. When asked in Kimberley, on the eve of the fourth ODI, whether he would accept the job if offered, Jayawardene said, "I will have to think about it. I will need some time."

Phone calls to SLC president Upali Dharmadasa went unanswered while secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said he could not comment on the matter.

Sri Lanka have lost three and won one of the five Tests they played under Marsh's stewardship, though that win was their first ever in South Africa. They have also lost seven of the nine ODIs they have played. When he took over, Marsh had said he was keen to extend his two-year contract to help Sri Lanka win another World Cup. Instead, his term has lasted just four months.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anura on January 25, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    SLC - very poor decision! Marsh should have been more time - after all he was recommended by Tony Greig and Tom Moody who probably loves SL cricket more than our beloved administrators.... @BroccoliPower...I dont know how much Champaka has worked with the fast bowlers but one thing if for sure....our fast bowling unit is not performing! and to be fair he did not have a glamourous career himself. You dont have to be Einstein to figure out that there is a huge difference in quality between of the coaches of SA bowling (Allan Donald) and our Champaka (has he even played in South Africa?) @CricketFan2011WC - so True...I couldnt second it drop Mahela on lively pitches we win matches.....Most overated Sri Lankan batsman..if not the world!

  • Aruna on January 25, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Another wrong decision by SLC. I really do not understand what these guys are thinking. Appoint weakest links in the SL side as captain and vice captain, sacking Marsh given only few days of work and when finally SL started performing when the weakest link, who performs very very badly in bouncing pitches, Mahela is absent. Pls correct me if I am wrong. His stats on bouncy pitches talks for his credentials. Hope cricinfo posts this comment. SL-fan.

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    I think it is not fair to replace the coach Greg Marsh. He is new to the job and it should take at least six months to get used to the players and the environment. From what I gather, he seems to have the correct approach to the job. He has reccommended that the "tail enders" ( usually the bowlers) also should be given batting practice. This, I think is a good move. It is pathetic to see some of these players at the wicket.

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    to espn chekmate es this is a great website mainly focused on india..nt abt srilanka!! thy post thoz items tooo but..i f u r nt sure just chk out the cartoon section.....ewrthng abt 99% ipl r sm indians...nthn abt intrntnal criket

  • Tania on January 24, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Another scapegoat. Wake up SLC - admit your wrongs and try to make amends at least now.

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    I dnt see any mistake in his coach he just got three tours hw can you judge him he needs some time............................................

  • Lalindra on January 24, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    don't the cricketers in the national side and SLC SELECTORS read articles and reports published in CRICINFO.......... I KNOW THEY MUTE THE TV IN THE DRESSING ROOM WHEN THEY PLAY A MATCH.......BUT NONE OF THOSE INQUISITIVE PEOPLE OR CURIOUS PEOPLE within the team and management,DON'T THEY EVEN READ A SINGLE COMMENT THAT IS POSTED IN Cricinfo........ or their not allowed or players like MAHELA AND SANGA ARE GRANTED PERMISSION BY THE SLC TO JUST SAY SOMETHING 2 THIS GREAT CRICKET SITE CRICINFO AND NOTHING MORE..... I'm pretty sure GREAT TEAMS LIKE INDIA benefit a lot and get a lot out of the box info through this site where as our players either are not that sophisticated or don't know that a VALUABLE site of this magnetitute exist... which one of these ????can any of the current players in the SRI LANKA national team answer this QUESTION???????

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    @GDarshana Why would not he watch his son's match in Sri Lanka.Its his own son for God sake. U should be angry if he discarded his family responsibilities for work

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    Who ever made this decision; it is a very bad move.once again politics in the srilanka cricket. giving captaincy to mahela another dum decision. what is the total score mahela scored in SA tour?????? I BELIEVE GOING TO BE A DISASTER when srilank visit to Australia. Please change the sports minister and give it to somebody who loves cricket and konws cricket.

  • Sai on January 23, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    Geoff Marsh was never a great coach, it was seen in the IPL when he coached Pune Warriors and they lost 6 in a row. But I don't know who this Graham Ford is, I think SL were better off appointing Aravinda de Silva or someone else.

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