Lalchand Rajput frontrunner to become Afgahnistan's new coach
Former Team India manager Lalchand Rajput, who was one of the 57 applicants to file their nomination for the post of the new head coach of the Indian men’s side, is the frontrunner to be named as Afghanistan’s new head coach, the Deccan Chronicle reports.
With the BCCI announcing legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble as the man to guide India, starting from the upcoming four-match Test series against the West Indies, Rajput has seemingly set his sights on the Asian minnows who are on the lookout for a new coach following Inzamam-ul-Haq's resignation from the post after the 2016 World T20 held in India to take over as chief selector of Pakistan.
Talking about the potential candidates for the job, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) president Nasimullah Danish said that Rajput, as well as Mohammad Kaif, were two of the prime targets being considered for the job.
"We have received several applications from all over the world. We have Rajput and also Kaif on our radar for the head coach post. The final decision will be taken soon," the ACB president said.
Zeroing specifically on Rajput, who has coached the Indian Under-19 Cricket side as well as the Mumbai Indians franchise in the IPL, Danish said the 54-year-old’s experience was a key asset.
“Lalchand Rajput has coached many Indian players and teams. He is also a successful coach. We would like to invite him for the interview," he said.
While Rajput might himself be a little disappointed at not being considered for the head coach’s role for India, Danish revealed that it was in fact BCCI president Anurag Thakur who recommended Rajput’s name for the post.
"The Indian cricket board has been helping us to find a suitable candidate for the head coach post,” Danish said.
Both Rajput and Kaif admitted that there has been contact from the ACB over the vacancy but added that a concrete offer was yet to be received.
"I am aware about their (ACB) interest in hiring my services but there is no official word from them yet," Rajput said, while Kaif sounded a little bit more apprehensive about the whole matter.
"I was indirectly approached but am not sure about their interest thereafter," Kaif said.
No shortage of applications for the post, says ACB
The ACB president said that several applications have been received for the post, including a “big name” from West Indies and South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs, but refused to go into specifics as to the identity of the potential candidates.
“There have been several others from Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies who have shown interest, none from Sri Lanka. Even Waqar Younis, who was recently replaced as Pakistan coach has shown interest, though he has not sent his application but spoke to one of our officials," the ACB chief said.
"Among several other Pakistanis who have responded to our requests are Manzoor Elahi, Mohammad Yousuf and Zaman. Even South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs and a big name from West Indies have applied for the post," he added.