Graham Ford has been named as the new National Head Coach of Cricket Ireland.

The 56-year-old South African has signed a three-year deal and will take over the reins from John Bracewell when his current contract ends in December.

A former first-class player with Natal, Ford has 25 years coaching experience including roles as Test coach with South Africa and Sri Lanka (twice). He also enjoyed successful spells with Natal/Dolphins, Surrey and Kent.

"I am really excited to be a part of this new era in Irish cricket," said Ford.

"I have always enjoyed working with decent people and, in their attitude, character and camaraderie, the Irish cricketers have always come across as such.

"With my knowledge and experience I believe I can genuinely make a difference. All my efforts will be dedicated to assisting the players to improve and achieve their full potential while playing an enjoyable brand of cricket."

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom welcomed the appointment of Ford, who comes with an impressive reputation and track record at international level.

"We are delighted to have a person of  Graham's calibre as Ireland's next Head Coach and we are all looking forward to working with him," said Deutrom. "Graham has a strong reputation for man-management, of improving individual and team performances at all levels, and has shown how to build winning teams in all three formats

"He is well respected throughout the cricketing world, and we believe his coaching CV sends out a strong signal of our intention to try and hit the ground running as quickly as possible as a competitive force among the Full Member nations."

Ireland are in action next Wednesday when they take on the West Indies at Stormont.