Lalchand Rajput and Afghanistan part ways

Lalchand Rajput and Afghanistan part ways

With the association is coming to an end, the ACB are looking for a suitable candidate who will be able to build a Test squad when it makes its debut.

Lalchand Rajput
Lalchand Rajput. (Photo Source: Official Afghanistan Cricket Twitter handle)

In Afganistan’s rise from being an associate nation to becoming a Test playing nation, Lalchand Rajput had a big role to play. The former Mumbai captain, who took charge as the head coach of the Afghan team last year, had a major part in the team’s phenomenal success on the field. But the association is set to come to an end.

Just two months after making it to the Test cricket arena, along with Ireland, putting them in the elite group of 12 sides permitted to play in the longest format of the game, Afghanistan have decided to part ways with Rajput in a bid to weigh other options.

“We will not be extending Lalchand Rajput’s contract. We are very happy with his work and appreciate his hard work during the stint. But now, as a full member, we will have to think of other options,” Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman Atif Mashal confirmed, as reported by  Sportstar on Saturday.

While he claimed that the board had already informed Rajput about the decision, the former Indian cricketer refused to comment on the issue. He, however, didn’t deny such a development.

New applications invited

Replacing Inzamam-ul-Haq after the World Twenty20 last year, ACB had roped in Rajput as the head coach while West Indies’ Phil Simmons assumed the role of bowling consultant. “After a meeting, the technical committee and the executive committee decided to re-announce the position. We will soon invite applications from international coaches,” Mashal added.

Rajput, who had previously coached India, had also applied for the role of India’s chief coach after Anil Kumble stepped down. Ever since taking charge of the Afghanistan side, he ensured that they played to its strength and made sure he worked to achieve his vision for the team. However, now that the association is coming to an end, the ACB are looking for a suitable candidate who will be able to build a Test squad when it makes its debut later this year.