Sri Lanka news February 3, 2016

Ford calls for patience as Sri Lanka rebuild


Graham Ford: 'It's very important that this team building is done on a very solid foundation, so patience is required' © AFP

Sri Lanka's new coach, Graham Ford, who is set to begin his second stint with the team, has cautioned against expecting quick fixes. The team, he said, is in transition, so he expects the job to be challenging.

"Sri Lanka is in the early part of a rebuilding phase, so don't expect any quick fixes," Ford said on arrival in Sri Lanka. "I am very aware what a huge challenge it is. A lot of hard work needs to be done. It's very important that this team building is done on a very solid foundation, so patience is required.

"I know there is an abundance of talent within the system, but it is about identifying those who have got the mental toughness to go on and become consistent players and match-winners at international level."

Jerome Jayaratne, Sri Lanka Cricket's head of coaching, who took charge of the team on a temporary basis when Marvan Atapattu resigned as coach in Sri Lanka, is expected to be appointed full-time assistant coach. Ford said it was important to draw on his experience, and for the entire Sri Lankan cricket set-up to work together.

"It's quite a long process which is required. A lot of hard work, not just for me but all involved, particularly Jerome who has been involved in Sri Lanka cricket for a long time, knows the players so well and has a wealth of knowledge technically and tactically.

"It's important to have his input, and also to have the selectors and the board all working together to ensure the long-term process can take place so that we can take Sri Lanka back to the top of the international stage."

Jayaratne also expected to play the role of team manager, a position previously held by Jeryl Woutersz.

Ford's first assignment is the three-match T20 international series in India, which he said would be a tough beginning but one he could use to find out how good the team is at present.

SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said Ford was one of 12 coaches his board interviewed for the post, and he was confident they had made the right choice. "We have secured the services of one of the best coaches in the world," Sumathipala said. "We have appointed him for 45 months [from February 1] so that he covers the 2019 World Cup in England, where he has first-hand knowledge of the conditions having coached the counties."

Sumathipala also thanked Kumar Sangakkara for playing a pivotal role in securing the services of Ford from English county Surrey, which Sangakkara represents.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Juhry on February 6, 2016, 7:27 GMT

    welcome back Mr. Ford. the first thing we need to do is removing the players who were there for so long time and still having hard time to be consistent. chandimal played almost 200 international matches and performed well only in very few matches, in t20 level his average and strike rate is far too below compared to a very average players. we found some your talants in the last premiour leagues, such as, dananjaya de silva, milantha, rajitha and some more. dilhara fernando is give chance once again, when we have better bowlers than his and also younger than him. kindly be strict with the team management in team selection. please do now allow to use their influence.

  • Anil Nanayakkara on February 5, 2016, 21:07 GMT

    Chandimal just needs to really push himself to be out there. He has a couple of good examples in Sanga and Mahela to follow.

  • Manoj on February 5, 2016, 2:59 GMT

    Welcome Mr Ford however we cricket friendly people of sri lanka have run out of patience but I am a firm believer a foreign coach of your magnitude is the only solution to take our cricket forward. Please note you have to call spade a spade with sri Lankan selectors, board and the minister of sports and with the players if not you will also will end up finding your fate as this is from a true sri Lankan and make sure you be strong.

  • chethana on February 5, 2016, 0:59 GMT

    SL need to bring back KUSAL PERERA as soon as possible. we invested lot for him neglecting his consistent failure as he has that extra factor just like SJ who can change a game single handedly. He was at his peak just before that unfortunate incident. last 4 occasions he was passed this test & knowing that these type of experiments are happened each & every time I don't think he will do this type of idiotic thing.

  • Deleepa on February 4, 2016, 9:32 GMT

    You guys are just giving assurance to players like Chandimal that they are part of the integral team set-up. You seriously cannot consider him as young? He's been there for years now and turned out to be a absolute waste. He is only useful as a wicket-keeper now! You think Aussies, Indians would keep selecting failures? That's why they are top of the world. Patience is only required on emerging players not players who've been there for years and years. We expect them to carry the burden and perform. After all these guys are paid well and supposed to do their job! Not look for excuses. Fans are blind when it comes to Chandimal! He is just another Kapugedara. Good luck Ford!

  • Mohamed Afulal on February 4, 2016, 9:23 GMT

    With Mahela and Kumar retired, team is definitely in transition. Ford is forthright in saying time is needed to rebuild the team. India right now is the strongest contender for the T20 crown. But an upset is not ruled out. If Srilanka is to cause a major upset, they have to fine tune skills in all three departments pretty soon. Good luck nevertheless.

  • Lathika on February 4, 2016, 8:39 GMT

    Sri Lanka's record have been given below.

    50 Overs's World Cup win in 1996 Twenty20 World Cup win in 2014 Finalists at 2007 and 2011 World Cups Semi Finalist at 2003 World Cup (Topped the Group) Finalists at 2009 and 2012 Twenty20 World Cups 5 Asia Cup wins - 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2014 Won tri Series in Morocco, England, Sharjah 4 times, Bangladesh 2 times and in Zimbabwe Won Bilateral series against all the Nations in the past at Home. Won the Indian Independence cup in 1997 Won against Pakistan in Pakistan 1995, 2000, 2009, West Indies in 1996 Newzealand in 2001 England in 2006 (Whitewash), 2014 (3-2) Won in Australia 2-1 in 2010, 2-2 in 50 Overs in 2012, Twenty20 2-0 Finalists in Tri Series in Australia in 1995-96, 2006, 2012

  • Jury on February 4, 2016, 7:41 GMT

    @GNAIR33 Sri Lanka always perform really well in Australia. We won all last three ODI SERIES. Also T20s. Pls check if you not sure. Where were you in last decade?

  •   Maneesha Gamage on February 4, 2016, 7:30 GMT

    @GNAIR33: Dose not matter how good you play if you cant win. It is still 5-0 to AUS. SL also beat Australia in T20 3-0 when they last toured, and tied the ODI 2-2. (By the way thanks for showing how to choke in a ODI game, you deserved the award)

  • Gireesh on February 4, 2016, 7:02 GMT

    Sri Lankans getting over excited over the appointment of Ford as coach! The team is still really pathetic and will take 20 years to rebuild for sure! Mr Herath, India whitewashed Australia 3-0 in the t20's and most of the one days were very closely fought. Can Sri Lanka even dream of playing like that?? Not in a century!

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