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Graham Ford steps down as Ireland head coach

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Ireland coach Graham Ford will step down from the position with immediate effect

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Graham Ford steps down as Ireland head coach

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SportsCafe Desk

11/17/2021

Cricket Ireland has announced that Graham Ford will step down as the head coach with immediate effect, after having worked for a four-year stint with the side. Ireland made their maiden Test appearance against Pakistan in May 2018, and played 51 T20Is, 47 ODIs, and three Tests during his tenure.

Graham Ford will step down from his role of head coach of the Ireland men's cricket team with immediate effect, as announced by Cricket Ireland on Wednesday. However, he will go on leave to see out his contractual notice period which will end mid-December. Ford was appointed as the head coach of the team in late 2017 in a three-year deal initially. However, the deal was extended for another three years in 2019.

Ireland were unable to clear the first round to enter the Super 12s in the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2021. Reflecting on his stint, Ford said that he has enjoyed his tenure as the head coach and added that Ireland competed impressively against top teams in world cricket in spite of several challenges.

"The last four years have been very special for me - I have enjoyed many happy days with a cricket squad made up of very special people," said Ford. "I have also enjoyed watching club cricket and experiencing the passion and club loyalty of many fine cricketing people,” he said.

"When compared with the other ICC Full Member nations, Cricket Ireland has faced many handicaps and challenges. Despite this, on several occasions the team has competed impressively with some of the top teams in world cricket and it has been a privilege for me to experience first-hand the character and togetherness of the Irish players.”

Ireland played 102 international fixtures during Ford’s tenure which includes 51 T20Is, 47 ODIs, 3 Tests and 1 List-A match. The South African was at the helm when Ireland made their Test cricket debut against Pakistan in May 2018. Explaining his decision of stepping down, Ford said that the challenges of the job took a toll on him, and thanked all the players and the staff for their support.

"However, over a period of time these challenges and handicaps have taken their toll on me. After much consideration and discussion with my family, I realise that this is the right time for me to step away from Cricket Ireland,” he explained.

"I'd like to end by thanking all the players and the support staff for their impressive attitudes and loyal support during the four years and I look forward to watching them achieve big things in the future."

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie praised Ford’s positivity, determination and his incredible support for the team.

"I feel very fortunate that I got to spend four years working with him, not just for the playing development side of my game, but for his incredible support during my captaincy to date,” Balbirnie said.

"We have had our challenges over the last number of years as a squad, but his consistent positivity has been infectious and his determination to improve the skills of everyone in the squad has brought some of our young cricketers on leaps and bounds. I think more important than anything is that Fordy is a brilliant person and one that will be greatly missed in and around the squad, and on behalf of the group of players we wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Ireland will tour USA in December, and will later play a white-ball series against West Indies in January.

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