Afghanistan and Lalchand Rajput to part ways

The former Mumbai captain has served as Afghanistan’s chief coach since last year.

Lalchand Rajput was appointed Afghanistan’s coach in June last year.   -  V. Ganesan

Two months ago when Afghanistan attained Test status, a former India cricketer - Lalchand Rajput - had a role to play. The former Mumbai captain, who took charge as the chief coach of the Afghan team last year, had a major role in the team's phenomenal success on field.

But then, the association is set to end. Months after making it to the Test cricket arena, Afghanistan has 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 to Sportstar on Saturday.

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

Applications to be invited

After severing ties with Inzamam-ul Haq after the World Twenty20 last year, ACB had roped in Rajput as the chief while West Indies’ Phil Simmons joined as 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, Rajput ensured that the Afghanistan side played to its strength and made its presence felt. With the association coming to an end, the ACB will have to look for a suitable candidate who will be able to build a Test squad when it debuts later this year.