‘We need someone’ to match Ford’s tenacity, says Sanath Jayasuriya

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“Graham works very hard with each and every player on their game, and we need someone with exactly that kind of commitment”

Former Sri Lanka captain and current head selector Sanath Jayasuriya has announced that head coach Graham Ford’s successor must have the same type of tenacity he did in order for the national team to continue their winning ways.

Ford refused to renew his contract, which expires in January 2014, after signing a three-year deal with Surrey.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have received 11 applications for the head coach position, one of which is from former India coach Greg Chappell.

However, it was recently understood that Chappell declined to take over due to family reasons.

Jayasuriya noted that Ford’s successor must also have a plan on how to develop and train the overflowing stock of high-profile youngsters Sri Lanka have waiting on the sidelines.

“We’ve got a few youngsters in the team and that is how it is going to be for the next few years,” Jayasuriya said. “We need someone who can work hard with the youngsters and push them to achieve better results. The person that comes in has to really be willing to work hard in the right way and understand how to motivate these players.”

During his 20-month tenure as head coach, Ford helped Sri Lanka win their first Test series in three years, while also guiding them to the finals of the World Twenty20 last September.

“Graham works very hard with each and every player on their game, and we need someone with exactly that kind of commitment,” Jayasuriya said. “He has done some really good work with the youngsters.”

Jayasuriya also wants the new head coach to¬†“understand Sri Lankan culture”.

Ex-Sri Lanka skipper Marvan Atapattu and fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage, who have also applied for the position, fit that description perfectly.

“We are looking at the local coaches as well,” Jayasuriya said. “We’ll have to see what they do in their presentation, but they are also going to be considered.”

Jayasuriya added that he and¬†committee chairman Ranjit Fernando plan to choose Ford’s replacement as soon as possible.

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