DUBLIN: Graham Ford is stepping down as Ireland coach in December, citing the “challenges and handicaps” of the function, cricket chiefs introduced on Wednesday.
The former South Africa and Sri Lanka coach, who oversaw Ireland’s first-ever Test match, in opposition to Pakistan, lately took his aspect to the T20 World Cup within the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Cricket Ireland mentioned in an announcement that the South African, 61, could be stopping teaching duties instantly however would serve out his contractual discover interval, which is able to take him till mid-December.
Ford, appointed in 2017, mentioned the previous 4 years had been “very special” but in addition outlined the difficulties of the function, with out elaborating.
“When compared with the other ICC (International Cricket Council) full-member nations (Test-playing sides), Cricket Ireland has faced many handicaps and challenges,” he mentioned.
“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.
“However, over a time period these challenges and handicaps have taken their toll on me.”
Richard Holdsworth, Ireland’s high performance director, acknowledged the pressures that Ford had faced, particularly during the coronavirus crisis.
“I do know, from working carefully with Graham, that the difficulties of managing his workload throughout the Covid pandemic has been significantly taxing — the fixed travelling round Ireland to coach with gamers, prolonged intervals living inside bio-bubbles, and the burdens of teaching for giant intervals below travel restrictions and a recruitment freeze which prevented us from hiring teaching help, to call however a couple of challenges.”