Sri Lanka news January 29, 2016

Graham Ford to coach Sri Lanka again


Graham Ford is set to begin his second stint as Sri Lanka's new head coach after Surrey announced he was leaving the county to take up the position. SLC confirmed Ford had signed on until the end of the 2019 World Cup. He will begin work with Sri Lanka on February 1.

Ford had already coached Sri Lanka for two years, beginning in early 2012. He had been linked to the Sri Lanka job since the middle of 2015, but had declined to resume the role ahead of the SLC election - and hence change of administration - in January.

His appointment will end a five-month search for a head coach, following Marvan Atapattu's resignation from the position in early September. SLC's interim committee had approached both Ford and Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe in the intervening months, but both men had had reservations about taking the job in a time of administrative upheaval.

The election of a new board in January, and the defeat of the Nishantha Ranatunga-led faction in those elections, helped pave the way for Ford's return. Ford had cited family reasons for his departure from the Sri Lanka job in 2014, but is understood to have had issues with Sri Lanka Cricket, at the time.

Ford is highly rated by Sri Lanka players, and the feeling had been mutual. He had spoken of his first stint as being "very, very special" ahead of his final Test in charge, in 2014. "I will sit at home for many years to come thinking about the great players and great people who I've worked with in Sri Lanka," Ford had said.

His reputation for being good with young players had been among the reasons the new board offered Ford the job, as the national team continues its transition following high-profile retirements. The length of Ford's contract period is also expected to bring some much-needed stability to the role. Sri Lanka have had eight head coaches - including interim appointments - since 2011.

Ford's appointment ended his two-year stint at Surrey, who were resurgent under his watch. They returned to county cricket's top tier after winning the division two title and also finished runners-up in the 50-over cup in 2015.

"We are extremely disappointed to be losing Graham Ford who has not just been an outstanding head coach but has played an integral role in the progress that we have achieved over the last two years," Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart said. "He has worked tirelessly with the players and his efforts can be seen in their individual performances and the team's results, culminating in promotion back to the first division."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Chanuka Shehan on February 1, 2016, 0:28 GMT

    please sir bring dilshan munaweera into the squad and 1st eleven.he is in good form

  • Tharu on January 31, 2016, 21:44 GMT

    All of you who demand to remove Chandimal from the team and suggest name of various players, I just have one question to ask. Who is going to keep wicket? Dasun Shanaka? Kithruwan? Kapugedara? Shehan?. With the absence of Kusal Sri Lanka team doesn't have any option but keep Chandimal in the team expecting good batting performance from him. Only option is Dickwella, but his international performances are not tested. Probability of being success is more in Chandimal. Hopefully he will realize his roll in the team in upcoming Indian series regardless of the result of the series. If the team find a strong performance from him+ Alll bowling options unavailable in this series (Malinga, Kulasekara, Herath, Sachithra, Mathews) we got a great chance.

  •   Maneesha Gamage on January 31, 2016, 11:57 GMT

    Train our batsmen to score 300+ score as well as chase 300+ scores in flat tracks consistently. We want survive otherwise.

  • Teran on January 31, 2016, 8:19 GMT

    Mr. Graham Welcome back. Just few thoughts. Hope you will involve selecting the best playing eleven because you know better than anyone who is in-form or not, Selecting best 11, as per the ground conditions and the game plan for each game( pls demand this if you are not part of section process ). Please be tough with them and demand hard work and results. Pls do not let complacency to take over and will play our brand of cricket with controlled aggression. Hope you will promote unorthodox y and innovation. Wish you all the best.

  • Buddhika on January 31, 2016, 5:12 GMT

    this only good news i heard regarding sri lanka cricket last year or so. But this is not enough to win T20 title for Sri Lanka One of the big problem in SLT20 team is TM Dilshan playing as a opener and either get out early and or playing slowly consuming lot of balls. If he could bat 4,5 then we could use explosive top order. Sekuu,Gunathilaka,Minda could play 1,2,3 slots if Kusal available either one have to play down or out of the team. Dhandjaya and Milantha,Dickawella could be as stand by Top Order Then Dilshan and Chandimal could play 4 and 5 and could do consolidation process Let'sThink Dilshan T20 retirement after T20 World Cup and Chandimal get out of the Team Thirimanne is Stand by Then Mathews,Kapu,Thisara,Kula could play as finishers

  • Bhagya on January 31, 2016, 2:08 GMT

    i dont think he is ideal guy but yes he better one...we would have asked tom moody or dave first...anyway ford also not a bad option..i can remember how goood was tom moody..meantime now its time for good supporting team needs goods physio and trainer...of course fieldifng coach...i guess slc needs to eye on someone to metor and manage direcotr for team...someone like mahela,sanga or jayasuriya...

  • Weeramuni on January 30, 2016, 21:37 GMT

    welcome Sir dosent matter what going next moth , bz you cant do that but hopefully you take Sri Lanka again to World champion , you will bring glorious name again..

  • Anura on January 30, 2016, 6:42 GMT

    Hope had worked out good exit package as it will be interesting to see how he would work with the new administration. Remember Geoff Marsh????

  • Aveek on January 29, 2016, 21:49 GMT

    Oh....dats sad....for graham that is....his first series will be a whitewash in favour of ind(probably)...

  • Pasan on January 29, 2016, 19:08 GMT

    Welcome back coach!!! Yeah the right person for the job.

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