Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Graham Ford steps down as Ireland head coach. Ford was at the helm for 102 internationals.
Ford was at the helm for 102 internationals.
Graham Ford will step down as Ireland men's head coach with immediate effect, Cricket Ireland announced on Wednesday (November 17), bringing an end to his four-year stay with the side. Ford was appointed in 2017 for the role on a three-year deal initially, which was extended by another three in 2019. He will see out his contractual notice period which will end mid-December.
“The last four years have been very special for me – I have enjoyed many happy days with a cricket squad made up of very special people,” said Ford. “I have also enjoyed watching club cricket and experiencing the passion and club loyalty of many fine cricketing people.
“When compared with the other ICC Full Member nations, Cricket Ireland has faced many handicaps and challenges. Despite this, on several occasions the team has competed impressively with some of the top teams in world cricket and it has been a privilege for me to experience first-hand the character and togetherness of the Irish players.
“However, over a period of time these challenges and handicaps have taken their toll on me. After much consideration and discussion with my family, I realise that this is the right time for me to step away from Cricket Ireland.
“I'd like to end by thanking all the players and the support staff for their impressive attitudes and loyal support during the four years and I look forward to watching them achieve big things in the future.”
Under Ford's tutelage, Ireland played 102 international games – 51 T20Is, 47 ODIs, 3 Tests, and 1 List A match. He also led Ireland through their Test cricket debut against Pakistan. In the T20 WC this year, his side finished third in the qualifying group and failed to qualify to the Super 12s.
Andrew Balbirnie, Ireland's captain, heaped praise on Ford, describing him as “one of the best coaches” he has worked with. “I feel very fortunate that I got to spend four years working with him, not just for the playing development side of my game, but for his incredible support during my captaincy to date.
“We have had our challenges over the last number of years as a squad, but his consistent positivity has been infectious and his determination to improve the skills of everyone in the squad has brought some of our young cricketers on leaps and bounds. I think more important than anything is that Fordy is a brilliant person and one that will be greatly missed in and around the squad, and on behalf of the group of players we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
A T20 WC Review is underway at the moment and an interim coach will be named in the upcoming weeks. Ireland will leave for a tour of USA in December after which, they will play a white-ball series against the West Indies in January.