Sri Lankan legends raise questions on Graham Ford's exit

Sri Lankan legends raise questions on Graham Ford’s exit

There is a lot of confusion over the untimely exit of Ford.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

In the last six years, Sri Lanka have had eight different coaches for the team, and none of them has been fruitful for the Island nation. As the team is now looking for their ninth coach, former Sri Lankan cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena have questioned the circumstances that have led to the exit of the eight coach Graham Ford.

Sri Lanka Cricket had announced on Saturday that Ford’s 15-month stint would come to an end with immediate effect, thanks to mutual consent between the two parties. The former coach was appointed till the 2019 Cricket World Cup, before agreeing to end his stint at the helm intermediately.

Under Ford, the Sri Lankan team have surprised the title contenders India in the 2017 Champions Trophy group stages, before crashing out of the tournament with a dismal performance against the eventual winners Pakistan.

Sangakkara and Jayawardena express their disappointment:

Sangakkara, who has previously spoken in glowing terms of Ford’s coaching skills, suggested “there may not be (any) coaches left to employ” for Sri Lanka at the current rate.

The former skipper also commented on the appointment of the recently appointed ‘cricket manager’ Asanka Gurusinha, the former Sri Lankan cricketer.

Jayawardena described the South African as a “fantastic coach” and a loss for Sri Lanka in response to the reports on BBC.

The South African previously coached the Sri Lankan team, for two years from 2012-14 where he took them to the finals of the World T20. Ford had replaced Australian, Geoff Marsh as the head coach.

“Anyone who has worked with him since the days South Africa were top of their game or to the Surrey boys, or to Kent, he has been the reason why so many young teams in transition – the word we use – have done so well over the years,” Sangakkara told Cricbuzz.

“Sri Lanka have the talent and they have the right man in charge. It’s time to allow them to freely go around doing what they can do,” he added.

“That is ‘Fordy’ to coach cricket and players to play cricket. If you let them be in charge of doing their jobs, without too much interference, it’s going to work,” concluded the legend when asked about Ford’s dismissal.