Johannesburg: Graham Ford, the coach of the South African cricket team, said on Saturday that the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) had sacked him. Ford's contract had been due to run until the end of next year's World Cup but the Proteas lost a series against Australia earlier this year 5-1, with one match tied.
Ford told the 'SAPA' news agency he had received a call from UCBSA chief executive officer Gerald Majola informing him of his dismissal. "I haven't officially been given the reasons yet but to be honest, I'm not surprised at all. Maybe my opinions did not quite gel with the opinions of others. I'm not saying my opinions are always right, of course. But if you stand firm, you're always going to run into opposition," he said. "Obviously I'm hurt. I've given 100 per cent." Prior to his team's loss to Australia, Ford had not lost a series. "Memories are quite short. This was my 10th series and I won the other nine." However, he added that the death of former captain Hansie Cronje in a plane crash on Saturday had put his situation into perspective. "It's fairly small when you think about it. It's not nearly as serious as death." The Board meanwhile announced it had offered contracts to 21 players.
West Indian 'Gale' sweeps India down under