Graham Ford signs three-year deal with Surrey

Image courtesy of: MSN

Ford’s main assignment will be getting Surrey back into Division One of the County Championship

Graham Ford has signed a three-year deal with Surrey and will take over as their head coach after his contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) expires in January 2014.

Ford has been linked with the English county side ever since they fired Chris Adams in July.

Ford also revealed that he had been informally approached by Surrey during the Champions Trophy in June.

The 52-year-old refused to renew his contract with SLC due to family reasons.

“I had already decided that I was leaving before Surrey even advertised the position, so it took a bit of time,” Ford said. “From a family point of view it works a lot better, in terms of all the time away from family that I currently have to go through.”

Ford also has a strong relationship with Surrey and England batsman Kevin Pietersen as he has known Pietersen since he was in high school in Durban.

The South African connection will get even stronger at Surrey as Proteas captain Graeme Smith will return nest season to resume his duties as skipper.

“I haven’t coached any of their players, really,” Ford admitted. “I think Pietersen plays about one game a year for them, if that, so he’s not really part of it. But I have worked with Graeme Smith briefly, as he was just coming into the South African national side.”

However, Surrey chief executive Richard Gould revealed to The Telegraph that Pietersen’s past history with Ford had been a major contributing factor in the county’s decision to hire him.

“There were some discussions with KP and Graham came very highly recommended from many quarters,” Gould said. “When we spoke to him he was an impressive guy and ambitious.

“We were looking for somebody with county experience and preferably international experience as well. We also wanted somebody who has a good track record in delivering improvement to players and the team with a good hard working ethic who will be a help to take the club forward.”

Ford will now be tasked with the tough job of getting Surrey back into Division One of the County Championship after they were relegated to Division Two this season.

“It is in part a rebuilding job but we have a lot of good youngsters and senior players,” Gould said. “It is about getting the most out of them as individuals and as a group.”

Leave a Reply