Sri Lanka Cricket team suffered a major blow as their head coach Graham Ford has stepped down following a poor first round exit in the recently concluded Champions Trophy 2017.
It was his second term as the coach of Sri Lankan team that ended after 15 months. His contract was up to 2019 World Cup to be held in England.
Ford was the Coach of the Sri Lankan Cricket team from 2012 to 2014 and then was again given the job from February last year till now. Sri Lanka won the test series against Australia last year at home beating them 3-0 and since Sri Lankan cricket failed to produce results. Under the coaching of Ford, Sri Lanka won the World T20 held in 2014. After the retirement of Sri Lankan greats like Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, the young Sri Lankan Cricket players have failed to produce results.
“We have to thank Ford for his invaluable contribution to Sri Lanka Cricket,” Sumathipala stated in the SLC press release. “He joined us at a time where we were quoted by the ICC as being on the “verge of suspension” and at a time where things were volatile and uncertain, Ford had faith in us and has given us his fullest support.
Sri Lanka was knocked out of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 losing to Pakistan in the virtual quarterfinals by 3 wickets. They lost to South Africa in the first match before surprising Defending Champions India to chase down 322. In the final match despite Sri Lanka scoring 236, the bowlers did a great job to put Pakistan at 162 for 7 but dropped catches cost them and lost the match by 3 wickets. Also, Sri Lanka did not qualify for knockout rounds during the ICC World T20 2016 held in India last year.
“The character that [the team] continues to show is really exciting. If we get a bit of experience among the younger players and we continue to keep that fight – that kind of spirit is really important if we”re going to build and become a highly competitive team.”