Ford Turns India Down



In another embarrassing blow to Indian cricket, Graham Ford, the former South African national coach, has turned down the offer of coaching the Indian national team in favour of remaining at Kent. It had been widely reported over the weekend that Ford had accepted the Indian job.
The final decision over who would take on the job was decided last week after presentations by the two candidates, Ford, and Englishman John Emburey, when it was decided that Ford was the man for the job. It is believed that Ford is the man that the players were in favour of, and that they, lead by captain Rahul Dravid, had been involved in getting Fords name high up the BCCI list of candidates. Form, a former coach of the South African national team as well as South African domestic side, the Dolphins, is believed to have come highly respected by former and current players including Jonty Rhodes, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusner, all of whom played under Ford for both the Dolphins and South Africa. Ford was seen as being instrumental in bringing through the young Pollock, Klusner, Neil Johnson and Dale Benkenstein, in his Dolphins days, in a team that also included Rhodes, Andrew Hudson, Errol Stewart and the late Malcolm Marshall. He was in charge of the South African A team, captained by Benkenstein, before being named as Bob Woolmers assistant in the Protea’s team. He replaced Woolmer after the ’99 World Cup, and went on to win 9 out of 11 Test series during his spell in charge. It is felt in South Africa that there were political rather then cricketing reasons for his axing after a home and away series loss to Australia.
Ford was seen as the ideal replacement to the outspoken, disciplinarian, Greg Chappel, with his calm, understated style. He is widely regarded in both South Africa and England as one of the most astute, tactical coaches in the game, and it is clear to see why he was pursued by the BCCI. Whether they now decide to go with Emburey, or make a short term placement and begin the process again, is yet to be announced. After the reports that Ford had taken the job, and now the news that he has turned it down, the BCCI would like to ensure that this embarrassing situation is not repeated in the future.