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Kent will let Ford take up England job

January 06, 2009 12:17 IST

Tipped to be the next England cricket coach, Graham Ford will have no problem leaving his current employers county side Kent, which has promised not to come in the way if its director of cricket gets the high-profile job.

The South African is the bookies' favourite to replace current England coach Peter Moores, who has fallen out with skipper Kevin Pietersen.

Kent on Tuesday made it clear that it would not stand in the way of FordĀ if England come calling.

"Graham has been linked to a number of jobs in the last year or so, such as India and New Zealand," said Kent chief executive Paul Millman.

"We were thrilled when he was asked to visit India to see what the job involved. So far, he has been incredibly loyal but our position has always been that if Graham or any member of staff has a great career opportunity, we wouldn't stand in their way.

"We've never put on the shackles or told people they have contractual obligations at Kent," Millman was quoted as saying by The Sun.

The 48-year-old Ford was Pietersen's mentor since during his school days in Natal, South Africa. In his autobiography Crossing the Boundary, Pietersen has described Ford as "Someone I both respect and admire".

The England captain had also invited Ford to write a chapter in his book.

Ford has limited first class playing experience but is respected as a coach. He guided South Africa to eight Test series wins out of 11 during between 1999 and 2002 and also helped Kent win England's Twenty20 Cup in 2007.

Kent skipper Rob Key heaped praise on Ford.

"We've been doing well here and I think Graham is really enjoying himself. His record in international cricket is unbelievable.

"He is a fantastic coach and great for a talented group of players such as you find at international level. I don't know of anyone who has a bad word to say about him. Certainly, nobody at Kent. Coaches are like players," said Key.

"They want to work at the highest level and the fact he has been tapped up so much is a credit to Graham and Kent."

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