Sri Lanka news September 18, 2013

Ford to quit Sri Lanka in January

27

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prabhash1985 on September 22, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @SL_rockz: Rahul Dravid a great man, unlike many other Indian players. I think your suggestion is very nice, and I like to see our team have a such great cricketer, with enormous talent, technique, critical thinking etc.

  • Prabhash1985 on September 22, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    @Rahul Patel : Getting ready for a fight, boxers used to say that the other boxer is not even manly. Like that, we do realize why Indians criticise too much about Sri Lanka over any other country. And we know you have a good team, and at the same time, I do realize why you speak so lightly about World Cup runners up team, and the T20 world cup runners up team, and the rank one T20 team, saying that they are below par. It is ridiculous.

  • Prabhash1985 on September 22, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @Constantine Lawrence : I'm not sure whether Micky Arthur will be the best choice, but I can tell one thing. Sri Lankans do appreciate discipline. Had he chosen Sri Lanka prior to this incident, I think his approach would have worked well with Sri Lankans. But, due to the incident happened, it's doubtful to go with him. I personally believe we need to have Dave Whatmore again.

  • on September 20, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    If Sri Lanka is looking for a foreign coach then it should be Mickey Arthur. It was Australian conspiracy ti remove him and he has proved himself taking South Africa to the top of the World ranking in Test Cricket. He has been a good coach and a stern disciplinarian too though he went bit overboard on the homeworkgate saga.

    I am sure he would produce results.

  • 07sanjeewakaru on September 19, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Excellent coach who came SA to Sri Lanka and serve with a minimum fuss.SL could've won T20 WC,CB series in Aus if there hadn't been any final woos.SL won a test against Eng and won test series against PAK after two years.In AUS SL did their best although test were whitewashed(As always was the case in the past except for 2 draws in AUS).He will miss badly although most of us unaware of that.Good luck with your future planning Sir!

  • on September 19, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Whoever comes as a coach cannot achieve anything with this sl team bcoz it is below international standard and the rankings shows it

  • Metro-ant on September 19, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    There's no real commitment from the senior players as well. Like the senior players during Greg Chappell's tenure, the same thing is happening with the Sri Lankan team. I've lived in both Australia and Sri Lanka and when Australia started to slip in the test rankings, the seniors like Ponting and Clarke made it their purpose to climb back up with both even retiring from int t20 cricket to help them with that. Meanwhile while I must commend Jayawardene for taking the leadership in a real awkward time, not looking at the future option the only headlines you get in Sri Lanka are whether Sanga is playing for Kandurata or Hyderabad or how SLC are shortening test series so the players can play in some 20-20 tournament. I doubt they'll ever get a coach that will put these seniors into line and bring some pride back to the mighty lions.

  • on September 19, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    @thamarasidath What are you taking about YOU are saying Sri Lanka is a weak team if MAHELA,Sanga,Dilshan or malinga retire from cricket of course Sri Lanka will be weaker team . If football team without Massi or ronaldo will it be the same.If indian don't have dhoni , sewag , tendulka or parkistan without serniour players or even look at Austrians now they lots the Ashes but yet no one care do you think they did loose if Warne,McGrath,Gili or lee is still playing. It will take time so when all these SL seriour player started did they win every game for Sri Lanka NO. Becourse they had cool head of Aravinda. Ranathunga, Vass, Murali, Jayasuriya. Get that in your head

  • on September 19, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    I am not surprised by this news at all. He couldn't make any difference to the team's performance. In fact, no coach in the world can be with this sri lankan team. At the moment, sri lanka is one of the teams which is going through a huge decline in cricket. Once kumar & mahela retire from international cricket, sri lanka will be just as weak as zimbabwe without shadow of a doubt. Most Sri Lanka people have moved away from cricket to a great deal. A players are not talented enough, no team can be succesful no matter who the coach is. Sri Lanka have been depending on a few players during past 5 years or so. During that period, no young player could live up to the international quality. If we think SL is not performing well because of the coach, we are not on the right track.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 19, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    He is brave!. He knows the outcome of next big matches including WC2015. He thought it is better to quit before that. He will be the scapegoat after that for sure. SL cricket in a bonsai state now. Group of tired seniors and failed juniors.

  • Prabhash1985 on September 22, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @SL_rockz: Rahul Dravid a great man, unlike many other Indian players. I think your suggestion is very nice, and I like to see our team have a such great cricketer, with enormous talent, technique, critical thinking etc.

  • Prabhash1985 on September 22, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    @Rahul Patel : Getting ready for a fight, boxers used to say that the other boxer is not even manly. Like that, we do realize why Indians criticise too much about Sri Lanka over any other country. And we know you have a good team, and at the same time, I do realize why you speak so lightly about World Cup runners up team, and the T20 world cup runners up team, and the rank one T20 team, saying that they are below par. It is ridiculous.

  • Prabhash1985 on September 22, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @Constantine Lawrence : I'm not sure whether Micky Arthur will be the best choice, but I can tell one thing. Sri Lankans do appreciate discipline. Had he chosen Sri Lanka prior to this incident, I think his approach would have worked well with Sri Lankans. But, due to the incident happened, it's doubtful to go with him. I personally believe we need to have Dave Whatmore again.

  • on September 20, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    If Sri Lanka is looking for a foreign coach then it should be Mickey Arthur. It was Australian conspiracy ti remove him and he has proved himself taking South Africa to the top of the World ranking in Test Cricket. He has been a good coach and a stern disciplinarian too though he went bit overboard on the homeworkgate saga.

    I am sure he would produce results.

  • 07sanjeewakaru on September 19, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Excellent coach who came SA to Sri Lanka and serve with a minimum fuss.SL could've won T20 WC,CB series in Aus if there hadn't been any final woos.SL won a test against Eng and won test series against PAK after two years.In AUS SL did their best although test were whitewashed(As always was the case in the past except for 2 draws in AUS).He will miss badly although most of us unaware of that.Good luck with your future planning Sir!

  • on September 19, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Whoever comes as a coach cannot achieve anything with this sl team bcoz it is below international standard and the rankings shows it

  • Metro-ant on September 19, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    There's no real commitment from the senior players as well. Like the senior players during Greg Chappell's tenure, the same thing is happening with the Sri Lankan team. I've lived in both Australia and Sri Lanka and when Australia started to slip in the test rankings, the seniors like Ponting and Clarke made it their purpose to climb back up with both even retiring from int t20 cricket to help them with that. Meanwhile while I must commend Jayawardene for taking the leadership in a real awkward time, not looking at the future option the only headlines you get in Sri Lanka are whether Sanga is playing for Kandurata or Hyderabad or how SLC are shortening test series so the players can play in some 20-20 tournament. I doubt they'll ever get a coach that will put these seniors into line and bring some pride back to the mighty lions.

  • on September 19, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    @thamarasidath What are you taking about YOU are saying Sri Lanka is a weak team if MAHELA,Sanga,Dilshan or malinga retire from cricket of course Sri Lanka will be weaker team . If football team without Massi or ronaldo will it be the same.If indian don't have dhoni , sewag , tendulka or parkistan without serniour players or even look at Austrians now they lots the Ashes but yet no one care do you think they did loose if Warne,McGrath,Gili or lee is still playing. It will take time so when all these SL seriour player started did they win every game for Sri Lanka NO. Becourse they had cool head of Aravinda. Ranathunga, Vass, Murali, Jayasuriya. Get that in your head

  • on September 19, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    I am not surprised by this news at all. He couldn't make any difference to the team's performance. In fact, no coach in the world can be with this sri lankan team. At the moment, sri lanka is one of the teams which is going through a huge decline in cricket. Once kumar & mahela retire from international cricket, sri lanka will be just as weak as zimbabwe without shadow of a doubt. Most Sri Lanka people have moved away from cricket to a great deal. A players are not talented enough, no team can be succesful no matter who the coach is. Sri Lanka have been depending on a few players during past 5 years or so. During that period, no young player could live up to the international quality. If we think SL is not performing well because of the coach, we are not on the right track.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on September 19, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    He is brave!. He knows the outcome of next big matches including WC2015. He thought it is better to quit before that. He will be the scapegoat after that for sure. SL cricket in a bonsai state now. Group of tired seniors and failed juniors.

  • SL_rockz on September 19, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    I think EX-SL player would be ideal.But if SLC is searching for foreign coach it is better to go with Rahul Dravid.He is the man for the Job.....Very honest and hard working character...He will be the best man to coach the new looking SL side.

  • s.g.a. on September 19, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    i think marvan is the best option for the coaching position, why always try to find foreign coaches, we should have confidence our past players,cricket fans in srilanka always believe our former players,they can do the job, but our cricket management never confidence about our former cricketers, just give the job marvan, he is very charming character & wonderful cricketer.

  • shanepe2003 on September 19, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Reminds me fun memories how SL recruit Jeff Marsh ( he came only for a holiday to SL to watch his son playing his first test against SL) & SLC offered top job for this tourist. Maybe we should outsource this Recruitment process to SL Tourist Board to Find a good tourist for the next vacant job.

  • NayanManiBhuyan on September 18, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Aravinda de Silva_as Batting Coach Chaminda Vaas_as Bowling Coach

  • on September 18, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    It's the Sri Lankan system that is at fault. Nobody would admit it in the higher ranks and that is the problem to all this mess. Nobody have done anything to correct the problems and no coach would be able fix it. The country has enough talented players but we don't have a system to shine them into global players. Sheer determination and persistence would unleash few like Sanga, Mahela, Murali, Vass but that is not good enough when compared the talent loss in the process. Aravinda, Chandika walked away from the messes in SLC and though they are qualified they would not get a 100% freedom execute their vision. Arjuna won a world cup, but that would not repeat with him at the helm. 99% of the Sri Lankans who comment here would also disagree with me because they are part of the of Sri Lankan system and they don't weigh in all the facts when it comes to make a decision.

  • Sageleaf on September 18, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    I think it's better to go with a foreign coach. May be Stephen Waugh who was an all rounder or Mark Taylor even may be Dean Jones. it's important to get a coach who could gel with the national side as SL will have a very young side once Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan is gone.

  • Empire-Of-Cricket on September 18, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman anyone of these legend is very good choise. it would be great to have them as head coach as they are our neighbors rather than going for overseas rude heads.

  • roshrosh on September 18, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Looks like everyone has forgotten Chandika Hathurusinghe... He is the best coaching staff we had from Sri Lanka. We should bring back. He is a positive thinking individual who knows local talent and importantly he knows to get the best out of players. common SLC bring Hathurusinghe back....

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    A man like Aravinda will be the best suit to be the head coach..But I doubt he would consider after the bad memories as the President of selection committee, in 2011WC. Anyway a foreign Coach is the best for sub continent teams since they come here without any excess baggage !

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    What about Roy Dias ? He has been doing wonders with minniow associate nations. He did not really get a proper go. I think Marvan vs Roy would be my contest for the next coach.

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    I'm against local coaches who seems to think playing for Sri Lanka is an automatic nomination for the job. Want to be a coach of a international side? Then prove your skills as a coach by starting at the bottom. Maybe coach Kandurata Maroons past the qualifying stages next year.

  • TestOfTime on September 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Excellent suggestion by Rathan Moorthy. Atapattu would be a good long term head coach for Sri Lanka. He is very highly respected and has a great cricketing brain. He could be the senior person once Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan leave as well. But his tiff with SLC board might prevent his appointment. Maybe someone from India- like Venkatesh Prasad might be a good option too

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    it is hard when you are far away in a foreign country, away from family.... We understand, Graham. Thank you for helping Sri Lanka cricket for all this time.

    Sri Lanka needs Arjuna Ranatunga, the no-nonsense cricketer to take over. That's the only way to handle this situation.

  • bijja on September 18, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Naki Rodda, why you against local coach?

  • on September 18, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Marvan Atapattu and Chandika Hathurusinghe are the best and most deserving candidates to head coach Sri Lanka. The unfortunate thing is that Hathu (now in the Australian system) would likely head coach Oz before Sri Lanka.

  • CricketChat on September 18, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    Wonder why Arvinda De Silva is not in the running for head coach already.

  • on September 18, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    It shud not be a local coach lest the merrygo round continues. R Rodrigo

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on September 18, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    It shud not be a local coach lest the merrygo round continues. R Rodrigo

  • CricketChat on September 18, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    Wonder why Arvinda De Silva is not in the running for head coach already.

  • on September 18, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Marvan Atapattu and Chandika Hathurusinghe are the best and most deserving candidates to head coach Sri Lanka. The unfortunate thing is that Hathu (now in the Australian system) would likely head coach Oz before Sri Lanka.

  • bijja on September 18, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Naki Rodda, why you against local coach?

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    it is hard when you are far away in a foreign country, away from family.... We understand, Graham. Thank you for helping Sri Lanka cricket for all this time.

    Sri Lanka needs Arjuna Ranatunga, the no-nonsense cricketer to take over. That's the only way to handle this situation.

  • TestOfTime on September 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Excellent suggestion by Rathan Moorthy. Atapattu would be a good long term head coach for Sri Lanka. He is very highly respected and has a great cricketing brain. He could be the senior person once Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan leave as well. But his tiff with SLC board might prevent his appointment. Maybe someone from India- like Venkatesh Prasad might be a good option too

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    I'm against local coaches who seems to think playing for Sri Lanka is an automatic nomination for the job. Want to be a coach of a international side? Then prove your skills as a coach by starting at the bottom. Maybe coach Kandurata Maroons past the qualifying stages next year.

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    What about Roy Dias ? He has been doing wonders with minniow associate nations. He did not really get a proper go. I think Marvan vs Roy would be my contest for the next coach.

  • on September 18, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    A man like Aravinda will be the best suit to be the head coach..But I doubt he would consider after the bad memories as the President of selection committee, in 2011WC. Anyway a foreign Coach is the best for sub continent teams since they come here without any excess baggage !

  • roshrosh on September 18, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Looks like everyone has forgotten Chandika Hathurusinghe... He is the best coaching staff we had from Sri Lanka. We should bring back. He is a positive thinking individual who knows local talent and importantly he knows to get the best out of players. common SLC bring Hathurusinghe back....