Graham Xavier Ford
Graham Xavier Ford (born 16 November 1960, in Natal) is a South African cricket coach and former cricketer.
Formerly the head coach of the Sri Lankan national cricket team, he was the head coach of the Ireland cricket team. A right-handed batsman, he played 7 games for Natal B in his career despite playing his last game seven years after his debut in 1982/83.
He was the best all-rounder sportsman, being a former provincial tennis champion and representing Natal in football. Ford is also a qualified rugby union referee.
In 1992 he also became coach of Natal where he enjoyed the services of Malcolm Marshall, Clive Rice, Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, and Lance Klusener. He moved the province to victory in both the first-class and one-day trophies in 1996–97.
Ford coached the South Africa A side in 1998 in a tour of Sri Lanka and the following year was named the assistant coach of South Africa. As assistant to Bob Woolmer, he coached South Africa in the 1999 World Cup where they reached the semi-finals before being eliminated by Australia.
Following the tournament, he replaced Woolmer as a coach and led the country to victory in 8 of the 11 series that they played but having suffered back-to-back defeats against Australia he lost his job in June 2002.
Ford became director of cricket at Kent in 2005. In 2006 he returned to South Africa to coach the Dolphins but left the role the same year for personal reasons.
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On 9 June 2007, he was offered the position of coach of the Indian cricket team, but two days later he declined the offer, citing “it was the right decision for me and my family”.
It was announced on 31 July 2009 that he would not return to Kent for the 2010 season, again citing personal reasons.
In January 2012, he was appointed as the head coach of the Sri Lanka national team, replacing Geoff Marsh.
In September 2013, he declined to extend his two-year term beyond January 2014 and stepped down from his post as head coach of the Sri Lanka national team. On 27 February 2014, he accepted the post of head coach at Surrey County Cricket Club. In the twilight of his career, Kumar Sangakkara cited Ford’s presence at Surrey as a reason for him to go there in 2015 and praised his influence on Sri Lankan cricket.
In January 2016, Ford was once again appointed as the head coach of the Sri Lankan national cricket team. However, Sri Lanka Cricket contracted Ford until the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, his second tenure ended after 15 months in late June 2017.
In September 2017, it was announced that Ford would take over as Ireland’s head coach from December 2017.