Former South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener has been appointed Afghanistan’s new head coach. ESPNcricinfo understands Klusener’s tenure would be till the end of 2020, with a possibility of extension based on the results.
Andy Moles, who is part of Afghanistan’s revamped selection set-up and is a former coach of the national team, had served as the team’s interim head coach during the recent tour of Bangladesh after the exit of Phil Simmons’ following the World Cup.
According to Afghanistan Cricket Board, over 50 candidates had applied for the vacant position, with Klusener emerging as the top pick.
Klusener played 49 Tests and 171 ODIs for South Africa between 1996 and 2004. Considered one of the best allrounders of his time, he collected 1906 runs and 80 wickets in Tests, as well as 3576 runs and 192 wickets in ODIs. He took up a coaching role with his domestic side Dolphins in 2012, before serving as the batting coach for Zimbabwe in 2016. In 2015, he was roped in by South Africa to tutor the lower order during their home series against England. He has also served as Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach in the IPL. More recently, he served as South Africa’s assistant batting coach for the T20I leg of their India tour.
“I am extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best talent in world cricket,” Klusener said in a statement. “Everyone knows the fearless brand of cricket Afghanistan play. I am very confident that with some hard work we can become one of the best sides in the world. I am really looking forward to working with the Afghanistan team and helping them take their cricket to the next level.”
According to Lutfullah Stanikzai, ACB’s chief executive officer, Klusener’s appointment is timely keeping in mind Afghanistan’s preparations for the 2020 Asia Cup as well as the T20 World Cup in Australia next October.
His first assignment with his new team will be the series of one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is against West Indies at ‘home’ in November-December. (ESPNCricinfo)