Sunday, June 10, 2007

India bring on Ford: Change of coach, yes. Will there be a change of direction?

By John Cheeran
Yes, it is Graham Ford only.
The 46-year-old former South Africa coach, currently cricket director of English county Kent, was selected ahead of former England spinner John Emburey, senior board official N. Srinivasan announced in Chennai n Saturday after the two were interviewed by its coaching committee.
Ford's appointment would have to be formally ratified by the board's decision-making working committee, he said. It is due to meet on Tuesday.
He would have a one-year tenure in the job which fell vacant after former Australia skipper Greg Chappell quit following the team's shock first round exit in the World Cup.
"The seven-man (coaching) committee has recommended to the working committee the name of Graham Ford as India's next coach," N. Srinivasan said.
He said Ford would inform the working committee when he would assume charge. Although his contract with Kent runs until 2008, the club have already given him permission to apply for the job.
Ford was rated well ahead of Emburey, cricket director with English county Middlesex, due to the reported backing from senior players including skipper Rahul Dravid, a former Kent player.
The board surprisingly rejected on Wednesday Australian Dav Whatmore, the outgoing Bangladesh coach who until then had appeared to have almost secured the job.
Ford is expected to take charge at the earliest as the team is due to leave later this month for Ireland, where they face the home country and South Africa in one-day internationals, followed by a full tour of England.
Ford has inspired South Africa to eight wins from 11 Test series in two years until he was sacked in 2001 after consecutive series defeats against Australia in the wake of the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga.
Ford is regarded as a motivator and his lack of experience at the highest level of the game should work in his favour. Unlike Greg Chappell, Ford made the cut neither as Test cricketer nor as a One-day player.
For Team India, success on the field will have to be earned by sheer dint of hard work.
Change of coach has been achieved; will there be a change of direction as well?

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