Sri Lanka news June 25, 2015

Graham Ford may make Sri Lanka return

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Who is Graham Ford?

Graham Ford could be on the verge of a return to the Sri Lanka coaching job. Ford, who was Sri Lanka coach from January 2012 to January 2014, is currently with Surrey, but is believed to have responded positively to the approach from Sri Lanka Cricket.

Ford, who is in his second season as coach of Surrey, is believed to be the preferred choice of Kumar Sangakkara, who joined Surrey as overseas player this season largely as a result of Ford's presence. Sangakkara was expected to finish his career after the first Test against India, although may now prefer a potential farewell in Colombo.

While Ford has expressed some interest in the role, he also wants the security of a long-term contract to take him up to the 2019 World Cup. He remains nervous about the volatile nature of Sri Lankan cricket politics and would like a deal that protects him.

The contract of the current Sri Lanka coach, Marvan Atapattu, ends next year, but ESPNcricinfo understands there is an exit clause in September. While he is highly regarded as a technical coach, he is not quite so well respected as a man manager and, at a time with the team in transition, that is a skill highly valued by the board. Under Ford, Sri Lanka were runners-up at the 2012 World T20 - losing to West Indies in the final.

Surrey had no knowledge of the approach when ESPNcricinfo first approached them for comment.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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