Ford, Emburey lead race

New Delhi, June 5:

England’s John Emburey joined Graham Ford of South Africa as the two leading contenders in the race for India’s next cricket coach, it was announced here on Tuesday.

Emburey, 54, the former England off-spinner and currently director of cricket at Middlesex, was unveiled as the second candidate besides Ford in the fray for the job. Ford and Emburey are expected to discuss their prospects with the coach selection panel of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday.

“The BCCI has invited Graham Ford and John Emburey to come to Chennai and make a presentation after which a final decision on the next coach of Indian team will be made,” a media release from the board said. Ford, a former South African coach who now works with English county Kent, on Monday displaced Australian Dav Whatmore as the frontrunner to replace Greg Chappell as the Indian coach.

BCCI officials had over the last week claimed that Whatmore, the former Sri Lanka and Bangladesh coach, stood a “very good chance” since he was the only person who had shown interest in the Indian job. But Whatmore was sidelined when the selection panel, headed by BCCI president Sharad Pawar and including three former captains in Sunil Gavaskar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Ravi Shastri, met on Monday night.

The other person turned out to be Emburey even though officials had hinted on Monday that former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga was the second candidate. India hope to have a new coach in place before their tours of Ireland and England starting in the last week of June.