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Ford to quit Sri Lanka in January

Andrew Fidel Fernando

September 18, 2013

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Angelo Mathews talks to coach Graham Ford during a practice session, Pallekele, July 25, 2013
Graham Ford will quit as coach of Sri Lanka after his contract expires in January © AFP

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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Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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!

Posted by   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

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

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