Lance Klusener to resign as Afghanistan head coach after December

Lance Klusener to resign as Afghanistan head coach after December

Klusener joined the Afghans back in 2019, replacing Phil Simmons.

Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener has decided not to extend his contract as the head coach of the Afghanistan national cricket team. Back in September 2019, Klusener was appointed for the role in place of West Indies’ Phil Simmons after Afghanistan’s campaign in the World Cup in England and Wales. Back then, Klusener had said that he’s excited and honoured to take up the job.

Klusener’s contract with the Afghan team expires on December 31. After spending more than two years with the Asian team, Klusener expressed gratitude and also looked forward to further endeavours in his coaching career.

“Having spent two years with the team, I will take away some memorable moments with me. As I walk away from Afghanistan cricket team and its cricketing structure, I look forward to the next stage in my coaching career and opportunities it brings,” Klusener was quoted as saying in a press conference on Monday, November 29.

Afghanistan performing well under Lance Klusener

The Afghans have done reasonably well under Klusener’s tutelage over the last two years. They secured victories in one Test, three ODIs and nine T20Is. They also garnered series wins over Ireland and the West Indies. Afghanistan, recently, played in the T20 World Cup 2021 in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Although they failed to qualify for the semis, Mohammad Nabi and Co. didn’t completely flatter to deceive. In their first Super 12 match, they defeated Scotland by 130 runs after Mujeeb Ur Rahman picked up a five-wicket haul. In their next game, the Afghans gave Pakistan a run for their money before Asif Ali’s big hits robbed them of a win.

Thereafter, they defeated Namibia as they restricted their opponent to a score below 100. The Afghans also had their fair share of joy against New Zealand when Najibullah Zadran scored a half-century, although his efforts went in vain.

As far as Klusener is concerned, he was one of the most efficient all-rounders South Africa ever produced. In 49 Tests and 171 ODIs , he racked up 1906 and 3576 runs respectively. He also picked up 272 wickets for the Proteas in a career that lasted eight years from 1996 to 2004.