Sri Lanka's cricket coach Graham Ford steps down after underwhelming Champions Trophy campaign

AFP, Jun, 24 2017

Colombo: Sri Lanka's cricket coach Graham Ford has quit, officials said Saturday, midway through a 45-month contract and just two weeks after the team's early exit from the Champions Trophy.

Sri Lanka's cricket board said the 56-year-old South African was ending his second stint with the team after a "decision arrived at mutually."

File image of Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford during a press conference. Reuters Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTX2JN83

File image of Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford during a press conference. Reuters

No immediate replacement was announced. Sri Lanka will play a home series of five ODI matches and one Test against Zimbabwe from the end of this month.

Ford, who was previously with Sri Lanka from 2012 to 2014, had said he faced a huge rebuilding task when he returned to the team in February last year, when the islanders had dropped down the rankings.

Sri Lanka failed to reach the semi-finals of this month's eight-team Champions Trophy in England, and there have been recriminations with the country's sports minister accusing the players of being too fat.

"Sri Lanka has grown on me, and although we've made the decision to part ways where coaching is concerned, she will always have a little piece of my heart," Ford said in a statement issued by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

After Ford took the job in February last year, Sri Lanka whitewashed their three-Test home series against then world number one Australia.

Under Ford, Sri Lanka also won a triangular series in Zimbabwe also involving West Indies. He had been due to coach them until the next World Cup in 2019.

"He joined us at a time when we were quoted by the ICC as being on the 'verge of suspension' and at a time when things were volatile and uncertain," said SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala.

"Ford had faith in us and has given us his fullest support. Ford epitomises the character of cricket as a true gentleman, and we are indeed sorry to see him go."

Ford, who has also coached South Africa, Surrey and Kent, ended his first spell in Sri Lanka in 2014 when his two-year contract expired.

Published Date: Jun 24, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 24, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115