Sri Lanka news September 18, 2013

Ford to quit Sri Lanka in January

Sri Lanka Cricket will begin its search for a new national coach, after Graham Ford maintained that he will walk away from the job when his contract expires in January.

Ford had indicated last week to the board he would not be renewing his contract, but SLC asked him to reconsider that decision on Friday, even suggesting changes to his working conditions, that might make the job more agreeable to him. Ford has not changed his mind however, after having consulted with his family, whom he cites as the reason for leaving the job.

"The National Coach has indicated to SLC of his unavailability to continue with SLC after his contract expires in January 2014," SLC said in a statement. "He has taken this decision consequent to the discussions he had with his family on the options given by SLC."

Ford had been linked to the vacant coaching position at Surrey, and had even been approached by Surrey's CEO, but that approach has not yet firmed into an offer. The lure of the position at Surrey is not understood to have influenced Ford's decision to leave the Sri Lanka job.

Ford took over for two years after Geoff Marsh was sacked in January 2012, and has had mild success in his time with the side. Sri Lanka won their first Test series in almost three years and progressed to the final of the World Twenty20 during his tenure, but also lost a Test series 3-0 in Australia.

The timing of Ford's departure has come at an inconvenient time for Sri Lanka, who are preparing for the departure of their senior batsmen Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan. The transitioning side are now set to have only one year with a new head coach before the 2015 World Cup.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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