Former Proteas coach Graham Ford has left English county Surrey to become head coach of Sri Lanka for a second time.
Ford joined Surrey in 2014 and the club were promoted back to the First Division of the County Championship and reached the final of the Royal London One Day Cup in the following season.
‘We are extremely disappointed to be losing Graham Ford who has not just been an outstanding Head Coach but has played an integral role in the progress that we have achieved over the last two years,’ Director of Cricket Alec Stewart said.
‘He has worked tirelessly with the players and his efforts can be seen in their individual performances and the team’s results, culminating in promotion back to the First Division.
‘It was a very tough decision for Graham to leave Surrey but we understand that the opportunity to go back and coach at international level with Sri Lanka was too good to turn down. Despite the timing of his decision, we wish Graham all the best and we will immediately start our search for a new head coach.’
Ford replaced Bob Woolmer as coach of South Africa at the end of the 1999 World Cup, but was fired after a disastrous run in the 2001-02 summer against Australia, when South Africa lost both home and away series.
He was interviewed by Sri Lanka Cricket in August 2011 but declined the job, saying he needed six months. In January 2012, he resigned with immediate effect from the Dolphins and was announced national coach of Sri Lanka.