Sri Lanka bank on Ford's 'local knowledge'

Graham Ford (Getty Images)
Graham Ford (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Sri Lanka are banking on the knowledge and insight of their South African-born head coach Graham Ford for the upcoming tour.

Ford succeeded Bob Woolmer as head coach of the Proteas after the disastrous 1999 World Cup where they crashed out of the semi-final against Australia.

Ford was subsequently sacked as national coach in 2001/02 and then went onto coach Kent and the Dolphins before taking his incumbent position in Sri Lanka in 2012.

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said that the main challenges his troops will be facing is the alien and trying conditions.

Ford's experience and insight will no doubt be a boost for the Sri Lankans - who've opted for a inexperienced 15-man squad with only three players having toured South Africa before.

"There is no better person than Fordy," said Mathews, as quoted by Jacaranda FM.

"He has got so much experience coaching various teams in different conditions and we are certainly looking forward to picking his brains about what it will take to succeed in these conditions."

The last time the two teams met in South Africa, the Proteas clinched the three-Test series 2-1 in 2011/12.

However it's going to take more than outside knowledge to topple over an inform Proteas squad who come off a high after defeating Australia 2-1 in their own backyard.

Sri Lanka, who also won a three-match home Test series against Australia in August, comfortably beat Zimbabwe in a two-Test series in Harare last month.

South Africa will host Sri Lanka in three Tests, three T20Is and five ODIs, starting with the first Test in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day.

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