Ford praises the guts of Herath


Sri Lanka coach, Graham Ford, has lauded the courage of veteran spinner Rangana Herath, who has played on despite sustaining an injury, after being struck in the groin while batting in the first innings of the third Test against Australia.

The tweaker took 6-81 from 38.1 overs, in the sweltering heat of Colombo, claiming his 25th Test five-for while injured.

Ford told the media after day three: "I can't say enough about the bloke,

"I was joking in the dressing room saying he's my all-time sporting hero. He's just gone ahead of Federer."

Herath was struck directly on his groin protector by a Josh Hazlewood delivery, leaving him moving gingerly.

The coach was hopeful that his star would make a speedy recovery though.

Ford continued: "He's obviously got some pain in the groin as a result of that,

"It's just limited his movement a little bit, but hopefully it will be a little bit better tomorrow.

"It's quite a challenge for the physio at the moment!"

Ford praised his star man's courage: "He's injured, he's bowling on one leg, and he just shows so much guts and fight,

"For an older guy to show that it just ignites the fight within the younger group in the example that he sets.

"It really makes the job of the leadership group a lot easier when you've got a chap like that who goes out there and shows such courage batting and takes on the quicks.

"After his nasty incident batting, he comes on to bowl and makes a couple of brilliant diving stops in the dirt off his own bowling.

"If you've got the old man throwing himself around like that, the youngsters just don't have any excuse.

"To have him in the side is brilliant."