Ford to succeed Bracewell as Ireland coach

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Ireland have pulled off a coup by securing Graham Ford as their next head coach on a three-year deal.

A highly regarded operator, Ford has considerable experience at the highest level, having coached his home country of South Africa and Sri Lanka.

After ending his second stint in charge of Sri Lanka in June, the 56-year-old will succeed John Bracewell as Ireland coach when the New Zealander's contract ends in December.

Ford's appointment comes at a crucial time for Ireland, who were recently elevated to full-member status by the ICC, enabling them to play Test cricket.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said: "We are delighted to have a person of Graham's calibre as Ireland's next head coach and we are all looking forward to working with him.

"He is well respected throughout the cricketing world, and we believe his coaching CV sends out a strong signal of our intention to try and hit the ground running as quickly as possible as a competitive force among the full-member nations."

Ford added: "I am really excited to be a part of this new era in Irish cricket. I have always enjoyed working with decent people and, in their attitude, character and camaraderie, the Irish cricketers have always come across as such.

"With my knowledge and experience I believe I can genuinely make a difference. All my efforts will be dedicated to assisting the players to improve and achieve their full potential while playing an enjoyable brand of cricket."