Former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons has been appointed coach of Afghanistan as the country prepares for its first Test match, it was announced Sunday.

The war-torn nation was awarded Test status in June, along with Ireland.

The appointment was announced on Twitter by the Afghanistan Cricket Board.


The former opening batsman and medium-fast bowler, who retired in 2002, had previous coaching spells with Zimbabwe, Ireland and the West Indies.

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Simmons will now join the Afghanistan squad in Dubai as it prepares for a limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in February.

Afghanistan will play its first Test match against India, where it plays the majority of its home games, although a date has yet to be announced.

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It is seen as having a promising future with a talented bowling attack led by 19-year-old Rashid Khan.

Khan has produced eye-catching performances in the world's top T20 leagues, most recently with a man-of-the-match display on his Big Bash debut for the Adelaide Strikers.

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"I play cricket to bring victories for my country and to make Afghanistan proud on the world stage," he told AFP in an interview in October.