Dublin: Graham Ford is stepping down as Ireland’s coach in December, citing the “challenges and disabilities” of the role, cricket chiefs announced on Wednesday.
The former South African and Sri Lankan coach who oversaw Ireland’s first Test match against Pakistan recently joined the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Cricket Ireland said in a statement that the 61-year-old South African would step down as coach immediately but would complete his contract notice, which would take him to mid-December.
Appointed in 2017, Ford said the last four years have been “very special,” but he also outlined the character’s difficulties without elaborating.
“When compared to other full members of the ICC (International Cricket Council) (Test playing parties), Cricket Ireland has faced many disabilities and challenges,” he said.
“Nevertheless, on several occasions the team has played impressively against some of the top teams in world cricket and it is an honor for me to experience the role and solidarity of the Irish players.
“However, over time, these challenges and disabilities have affected me.”
Richard Holdsworth, Ireland’s director of high performance, acknowledged the pressures Ford had faced, especially during the Corona virus crisis.
“I know, from working with Graham, that the difficulties in coping with his workload during the Cove epidemic are particularly taxing – the constant travel to Ireland for training with athletes, the bio-bubbles. Long stay in, and the burden of coaching. Large periods and recruitment freezes under travel restrictions that prevented us from hiring coaching support services, to name a few, but a few challenges. “