The match-fixing scandals that have rocked the governing body for cricket in Sri Lanka, SLC, would be seriously considered by any individual who plans to take over the reigns as national coach.
At present cricket in Sri Lanka is under a storm of controversy. The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) got the country’s cricket captain Angelo Mathews to make a statement regarding alleged match fixing claims and two other cricketers Kusal Janith Perera and Rangana Herath to make statements following reports that they were approached by bookies. The financially rich SLC has the buying power to hire the best available coach in the world. But critics point out that the tarnished image of the sport in the island would lead to a snag when SLC decides to hire its next national coach, most likely an expatriate.
When a cricket team sees some of its players questioned by ICC’s anti-corruption unit, any coach would also feel the heat during such challenging times.
At the time of writing, speculation was rife that South African born Graham Ford has been earmarked for the coaching job at SLC. Coaching cricket teams in the Indian Subcontinent is not an easy task where the betting industry operates in full swing.
Just a few days ago Sri Lanka pitch curator Jayananda Warnaweera was suspended by the ICC for failing to cooperate with anti-corruption investigations. This was also a happening week for the media regarding cricket because a top bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake saw his services with SLC being suspended after it was alleged that he had a close acquaintance with net bowler Gayan Vishwajith who is alleged to have approached players for match-fixing.
Any coach signing up with SLC will be navigating the island’s cricket ship on rough seas. If Ford signs up with SLC for a second time he will be the one in charge of the players for the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by India from March 8-April 3.
Ford is at present the coach of Surrey and is known to be a ruthless decision maker when it comes to accepting coaching assignments.