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BCCI to invite Graham Ford for talks
June 04, 2007 22:45 IST
Last Updated: June 04, 2007 23:11 IST
South Africa's Graham Ford has emerged a prime contender for the job of India coach, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India deciding to invite him and another unnamed foreigner for discussions on June 9.
Dav Whatmore, the former Sri Lanka and Bangladesh coach who appeared a front-runner for the job, it seems, is out of the reckoning after the decision of the BCCI's Search Committee, appointed to find a successor to Greg Chappell, which met in Bangalore on Monday evening.
"We have decided to invite Ford and another coach of foreign origin for discussions on June 9 in Chennai," BCCI treasurer N Srinivasan, a member of the Search Committee, told reporters after the meeting.
"We have not been able to reach the second person so far but we hope to do it soon," Srinivasan added.
"We had made contact with Whatmore before. By implication you can say that Whatmore is out [of contention]," he added.
Speculation is rife that the unnamed foreigner is former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga. The move to call him for discussion though seems more of a ploy to please Sunil Gavaskar [Images], who is a staunch believer in an Indian coaching the team, rather than giving him a serious consideration.
Ford, who coached South Africa between 1999 and 2001 and currently is Director of Coaching with Kent County Club, threw his hat in the ring only on Sunday, while Whatmore had been vocal about his keenness to coach the Indian team.
He sought and met BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah and former captain Ravi Shastri, another member of the Search Committee and the Indian team's Cricket Manager, during the recent series in Bangladesh.
Ford worked as assistant to the late Bob Woolmer [Images] with the South African team before taking over from him after the 1999 World Cup.
The 46-year-old guided the team during immediate difficult period after the 2000 match-fixing scandal.
Ford also has the credit of guiding the Natal team, which featured many of the current and recent South African players, like Shaun Pollock [Images], Lance Klusener and Jonty Rhodes [Images], besides the late West Indian fast bowling legend Malcolm Marshall.
After being relieved from the post, he joined Kent, where he is Director of Coaching.