Rajput wants to replicate Afghanistan success with Zim

MUMBAI — Lalchand Rajput (pictured right) is determined to bring back glorious days of a struggling Zimbabwe just like he transformed Afghanistan cricket team.

Times of India

Rajput was recently appointed as Zimbabwe’s interim head-coach as he replaced Heath Streak, who was sacked.

Under Rajput, Afghanistan secured full membership at the International Cricket Council and won six limited-overs series. They also savoured a morale-boosting win over West Indies in an ODI at Gros Islet as it was their first ever win in this format over a full member other than Zimbabwe or Bangladesh.

Afghanistan were recently given Test status and will play their first ever Test against India in next month in Bengaluru.

“When I joined Afghanistan nobody knew that Afghanistan would go to that level. And we [Afghanistan] got the Test status. We never lost a series. And now people are talking about Afghanistan that they are doing well. The same thing, I would like Zimbabwe to do,” Rajput said.

“I am really happy that Zimbabwe approached me and they wanted my services. It is great feeling that an international team is recognising my talent. At the same time, it is a big challenge because Zimbabwe has not qualified for the [2019] World Cup, so people are talking about it. But I look at it in a positive way, it is a challenge for me and I like challenges,” 56-year-old Rajput said.

His first assignment is a Twenty20-tri series, commencing July 1 with Zimbabwe taking on Pakistan in Harare.

“My main job is to prepare them well for this tournament,” said the former India cricket manager.

Rajput said that he will take up the new assignment in June first-week.

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