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BCCI c & b Ford
Who next? Another firang coach?

"After careful consideration, I have decided to continue my work at Kent. This has been a really difficult decision. I am honoured that India has shown interest in my capabilities, but feel that this is the right decision for me and my family..."

London, June 11
In a surprise turn of events, South African Graham Ford today declined to accept the BCCI’s offer to coach the Indian team a year, saying he wanted to continue his job with the Kent County Cricket Club.

The 46-year-old former South Africa coach’s decision came in less than 48 hours of the offer made to him in Chennai by a BCCI special committee that had rejected former England spinner John Emburey, who also made a presentation.

The working committee of a stunned BCCI, which had asked Ford to say when he would be able to join the team, would now meet in Delhi tomorrow to consider the situation and look for a new coach. The committee was originally scheduled to ratify the selection of Ford.

Ford’s selection over Emburey also came after much speculation over Australian Dav Whatmore, who had shown keen interest in taking up the job but was not favourably considered by the BCCI.

The South African coach, who had no exposure to international cricket as a player, was favourite among the senior members of the Indian team, including skipper Rahul Dravid.

Ford had played seven first-class matches between 1982 and 1990 but had successfully coached his national team during the difficult days in the aftermath of match-fixing scandal.

Emburey had represented England in 64 Tests and 61 ODIs but his two coaching stints with Northamptonshire and Middlesex county clubs were failures. Tomorrow’s meeting of the working committee may now consider afresh Emburey’s credentials for the hot seat vacated by Greg Chappell in the wake of India’s disastrous performance in the World Cup.

It was not clear whether the board would consider the candidature of some other coach. In his statement, Ford said he was grateful to the Kent club for allowing him to go to India for the interview. He said he had a chance to reflect on the offer made by the BCCI and their urgency to fill the vacant position.

Reacting to Ford’s decision, Graham Johnson, Kent’s chairman of cricket, said: “This is really great news for Kent cricket. We are delighted Graham has decided to stay with us. I would like to say how much we appreciate the way Graham has handled the last few days.” — PTI

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