The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has appointed Milap Mewada as the batting coach of the senior men’s team for its T20I series against Bangladesh, beginning on Friday.
A former Baroda wicketkeeper-batter, Mewada has been a seasoned coach in the domestic circuit and has worked with several state teams - including Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad.
He was also in the race to become the head coach of Baroda this season, but the Baroda Cricket Association named Mukund Parmar for the job after its ‘first choice’ Amol Muzumdar expressed his inability to take up the assignment.
Sportstar understands Mewada has been working with the Afghanistan team for a few weeks and was in Abu Dhabi for a camp with the T20I players before joining the team in Bangladesh for the three-match series.
A couple of days ago, Bangladesh clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1 and should be optimistic about faring well in the shortest format as well. Under head coach Jonathan Trott, Afghanistan has a strong support staff group with Raees Ahmadzai as the assistant coach, Mewada as the batting coach, and Riyan Maron as the fielding coach.
Hamid Hassan, the former Afghanistan fast bowler, is the bowling coach, while Jason Douglas is the strength and conditioning coach.
With Afghanistan set to feature in the ODI World Cup in India in October-November, it would be interesting to see if Mewada is given a longer rope keeping his experience and knowledge about Indian conditions in mind.
The 48-year-old Mewada played 11 first-class and 26 List-A matches for Baroda between 1996 and 2005, and later, he worked with several young cricketers as a full-time coach. Under his guidance, Jammu and Kashmir made it to the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy in the 2019-20 season, and he played a key role in recommending Abdul Samad to VVS Laxman for a berth in the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in the Indian Premier League.
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