Ford named Sri Lanka coach

2012-01-25 19:35
Graham Ford (File)

Colombo - Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday sacked its Australian coach Geoff Marsh and replaced him with South African Graham Ford as part of a major shake-up following the national team's poor run.

Marsh's sacking came after Tillakaratne Dilshan quit his captaincy on Monday and former skipper Mahela Jayawardene was brought in to lead the team for the upcoming triangular one-day series with India.

"The executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket takes this opportunity to wish... the newly appointed coach Graham Ford the best of luck during his tenure with the national team," the statement said.

"They also convey their gratitude to Geoff Marsh the outgoing national coach," the statement said. There was no immediate comment from Marsh or Ford.

Ford, 51, is the fourth coach since Australian Trevor Bayliss stepped aside after the World Cup final in April 2011. Bayliss's assistant Stuart Law took over for the England series and quit to coach Bangladesh.

Sri Lankan pace bowler Rumesh Ratnayake took over for the home series against Australia and was replaced by Marsh. There was no immediate comment from Marsh, who had a two-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket.

Sri Lanka's sports minister last week named a four-member selection panel and gave them one year to put the team in order after the side lost Test and one-day series to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa.

A former all-rounder, Ford quit as head coach of the Dolphins, the Durban-based franchise last week, and said he wanted to "follow my dreams of involvement at an international level".

Ford replaced Bob Woolmer in 1999 as South African coach, a post he held till 2001. He shifted to Kent as director of cricket in 2004, and returned home in 2006 to take charge of the Dolphins.

In June 2007, he famously turned down an offer to coach India, after being chosen to replace Australian Greg Chappell. In 2009, he withdrew his name as candidate to coach England.

Sri Lanka's team manager Anura Tennakoon was also replaced on Wednesday with former player Charith Senanayake.

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