London - Sri Lanka's cricket board on Friday confirmed it would rehire Graham
Ford as head coach to help the national team defend its World Twenty20
title in India, after his English club announced his departure.
55-year-old South African previously coached Sri Lanka from 2012 until
2014 before taking over the reins at English county championship
"The new board of Sri Lanka Cricket
head-hunted Ford to be the new head coach and prepare the team for the
World T20," SLC official told AFP. "His term will be for 45 months
The contract period would also cover the 2019 World Cup hosted by England and Wales.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) declined to give further details of the contract.
officials said he would start by preparing the team to defend the World
T20 title, with its recent poor form leading it to fall to second
position in the T20 rankings, after the West Indies.
T20 will be held at stadiums throughout India from March 8, with the
final to be played at the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 3.
Sri Lanka has also been hit by the retirement of legends such as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
Ford worked with Sangakkara at Surrey and last season guided the club to the county championship second division title.
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 director
of cricket Alec Stewart told the club's official website Thursday.
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," Stewart said.
"It was a
very tough decision for Graham to leave Surrey but we understand that
the opportunity to go back and coach at international level with Sri
Lanka was too good to turn down."
Sri Lanka's new cricket
management earlier this month decided to step up its search for a new
head coach, with the job temporarily held by interim coach Jerome
Jayaratne, who replaced Marvan Atapattu.
Jayaratne, 49, the head
of coaching at SLC, was appointed for the West Indies Series in October
and November 2015 and extended to cover Sri Lanka's tour of New Zealand.
appointment came after Atapattu quit before his contract was due to
expire following India's 2-1 win of a Test series in Colombo in
Since 2010, Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law, Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh and Ford have also had periods as Sri Lanka coach.