Graham Ford won't last long - Sidath Wettimuny

By Staff Writers | April 17, 2017

South African Graham Ford signed a 45-month contract with SLC after leaving Surrey in January 2016. © AFP

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford could be nearing the end of his stint, Sidath Wettimuny has intimated after observing the coach being overshadowed by the newly-appointed cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha during the recent series against Bangladesh.

Wettimuny has no involvement with the cricket board but was the chairman of the interim-committee of Sri Lanka Cricket from April 2015 to January 2016, when the current Thilanga Sumathipala administration was elected.

"I see some worrying signs now," Wettimuny told Sri Lanka's Sunday Times. "I have the greatest respect for Asanka Gurusinha as a batsman [but] I was at the Dambulla match and I see him in the middle of the ground talking to Sanath Jayasuriya and two players. I did not see the coach anywhere! I see a problem there.

"You see, you got a coach and you got a cricket manager, I do not know whether the functions of these two are defined clearly. The way I see it — I am just guessing — Graham Ford won't last long. He is going to be an unhappy man, if he is going to see somebody else taking cricketing decisions."

Since the controversial sacking of Geoff Marsh in 2012, the board has struggled to interest many of the top foreign coaches and turned to their former assistant coach Paul Farbrace and later Marvan Atapattu and finally Ford, who had previously served as coach of the Sri Lankan side from 2012 to 2014, to take the job.

Marsh subsequently sued and received a financial settlement from SLC in 2013.

Ford, whose contract runs beyond the 2019 World Cup, is an accomplished coach and has earned praise from Kumar Sangakkara, but one year into his second stint, and with Sri Lanka losing to Bangladesh in Test cricket last month, the pressure is on him to arrest the slide.

Gurusinha was hired in March for the new role of cricket manager and has stated that team and squad selections are a part of his mandate, which hints at the possibility of a versatile role with wide-ranging powers.

© Island Cricket


Anonymous's picture

Thilanga you are causing a major mess. How can you afford to pay all these salaries? Hashan is batting coach, Asanka is cricket manager, selectors are all paid to do nothing. No wonder we can't afford to pay a good salary and get a good coach! When is the audit of SLC finances going to happen??

AmilaSaman's picture
Member since:
24 March 2014
Last activity:
44 min 44 sec

It seems SLC wants to get rid of Graham Ford. Gurusinghe is their weapon. If Fords says "I have had enough of this" Sri Lanka will have to find a coach from within. Because after what happened to Marsh, no one will going to come to Sri Lanka. Too much politics and interference. Sri Lanka is a tough place to be a coach.

Chandra De Kauwe's picture

What is new about Sri Lanka cricket administrators? They never learn a lesson! First they elect a foreign coach because they consider "The suddha" knows better? Then they interfere with his authority, as they will always be one on the fringes, who knows better and can do it twice as well, for half the pay. Unfortunately, it never doesn't come to fruition and the interfering "know-it-all" is duly sacked.

Meanwhile, SL cricket has gone into "free fall." After which there is another panic call, for another foreign cricket coach to bail out "SL cricket" and history repeats itself! They obviously have never heard the expression "Why employ a guard dog and bark yourself."

So, how long will be for the newly-appointed cricket manager, Asanka Gurusinha to "get on the good side of the Cricket Minister and be appointed SL coach? Any bets, from anyone, as to how long HE will last before Sri Lanka loses to Kenya 3rd team, after which SL will appoint another foreign coach again? Bets in "BROWN ENVELOPES ONLY," IN AMOUNTS OF £20,000, please! Just joking!!!!

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
3 days 14 hours

Hmmm...this would be the last change SLC can make - the coach! After that change that's it, there will be no one or nothing else to blame. May that will be the stage we will spot the elephant in the room!

Thanujika's picture

Ford is a useless coach. Not a bad thing if he leaves. Get Whatmore back.

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