|Graham Ford, the new Team India coach, in Chennai on Saturday. (PTI)
Chennai: It was around 2.15 pm, after some hours of sleep following an early morning check in on Saturday, that Graham Ford walked into the Taj Connemaraís coffee shop. ďCan I have some salad'Ē he asked the hostess, almost in a whisper, before taking a table which didnít exactly keep him in public view. That was, well, typical. While waiting to be served, Ford interacted with The Telegraph for about 15 minutes.
The following are excerpts
On his thoughts
Right now, Iím trying to relax... The past few days have been very hectic and Iíve come off a long flight...
On being the frontrunner for the Team India coachís job
I wouldnít like to comment... Itís just nice that Iíve been invited... Itís an honour... (After a pause) I donít take things for granted, though... Iím aware of the challenge, letís wait and see.
On arriving on the same British Airways flight as Ďchallengerí John Emburey
(Grins) We didnít speak on the aircraft, but did have a chat while clearing immigration and customs... Johnís a friend and Iíve known him for some years on the County circuit.
I see him as a friend... Heís a very fine person and Iím sure heíll do a good job if he gets chosen... I realise that he has played a lot of international cricket (64 Tests and 61 ODIs)...
On having the support of, among others, captain Rahul Dravid
Itís pleasing... Iíve always believed that the players should have a role in the appointment of coaches... Donít get me wrong, this is not about player-power.
On one-time wards like Shaun Pollock backing him in the strongest manner possible
(Smiles) You know, when I was asked to leave (in 2002), I left the South African team with strong relationships... Shaun and the others are in the same hotel and, so, I could meet them once they return from the match.
On his no-ego image
Iím a backroom person. Iím comfortable with that image...
On the Pollocks being unsure of whatís expected of him in India
At different times, different teams need different coaches... Itís important for the administrators to get it right... Itís critical... The players, after all, are the ones whoíve got to work with the coach.
Finally, on whether heíll be able to leave Kent almost overnight
Iíve got the Countyís support, but we havenít discussed an early release from my contract which, as you know, runs till September 2008... Depending on what happens tonight, Iíll begin discussions (with Kent)... Iím sure the County wonít stand in the way.