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Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Key backs Ford for England role

Graham Ford
Graham Ford turned down the chance to coach India in 2007

Kent captain Rob Key believes Graham Ford is the perfect candidate to replace Peter Moores as England coach.

Ford, 48, is the current Kent coach and has expressed an interest in taking the England job after Moores was sacked following a rift with Kevin Pietersen.

Key told BBC Radio Kent: "Obviously I'm slightly biased but Graham Ford would be the perfect man for the job.

"I think England have got someone who has been in their system for a few years who's a fantastic coach."

Born in Pietermaritzberg, South Africa, Ford took over at Canterbury in 2004, leading the Spitfires to the Twenty20 Cup in 2007.

"His record speaks for itself - both at international cricket and here at Kent," said Key.

"We were probably the worst one-day team in the country and we're now arguably one of the best.

"He's done a fantastic job here and everywhere you go people speak very highly of him," he added.

From Shaun Pollock to Kevin Pietersen to young guys here at Kent, they all speak very highly of Graham Ford

Rob Key

In 2007 Ford turned down the opportunity to coach the Indian national team.

"Probably the biggest cricketing nation in the world wanted his services," said Key.

"He didn't look for an international job, they came after him."

After an eight-year first-class career, Ford became the coach of South African side Natal in 1992.

At the beginning of 1999, Ford was appointed as assistant coach of the South African national side and succeeded Bob Woolmer as head coach following the World Cup in England.

Ford spent two years with the Proteas, but was sacked in 2001 despite winning eight of his 11 series in charge.

"From Shaun Pollock to Kevin Pietersen to the young guys here at Kent, they all speak very highly of Graham Ford and for me that's the most important thing," said Key.

"That's not because he's a great bloke to go and sit down the pub with, that's because he's a fantastic coach.

"People really understand what he does for them individually as well as the team," he added.

Ford has one year left to run on his contract at the St Lawrence Ground.



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