Lalchand Rajput named UAE head coach

Lalchand Rajput
Lalchand Rajput is an experienced coach. Photo: X/@EmiratesCricket

New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer Lalchand Rajput has been appointed the new head coach of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) men’s team for a three-year period. Rajput, who played two Tests and four ODIs for India from 1985 to 1987, will be taking over from interim head coach Mudassar Nazar.

Rajput, 62, was the manager of the M S Dhoni-captained Indian team, which won the inaugural men’s T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa and was the head coach of Mumbai Indians in the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008.

He also coached Afghanistan from 2016 to 2017, a period where the side notably received their Test-playing status. Rajput also served as Zimbabwe men's head coach from 2018 to 2022.

"I want to thank the Emirates Cricket Board for appointing me for this exciting role. UAE has emerged as one of the stronger Associate Members in recent years and the players have put in some good performances in both ODIs and T20Is. The current batch is exceptionally talented and I look forward to working with them and further harnessing their cricket skills.

"I am confident that the boys buoyed by their exposure to top quality cricket and practice facilities here in Dubai will continue to prosper, UAE cricket has a very bright future and my goal would be to make the team perform more consistently and take them to the next level which I am very confident they are fully capable of," said Rajput in a statement.

His first assignment will be the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 ODI tri-series being hosted by the side with Scotland and Canada as the other participants.

The tri-series begins on February 28, following which the UAE will host Scotland for three T20Is next month. Last year, the UAE failed to make the cut for the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup after losing to Nepal in the semifinals of the Asia-Pacific qualifying event.

"We are delighted to announce the appointment of Lalchand Rajput as UAE men’s head coach. Rajput has a proven track record and has done an exceptional job as a coach for various national and domestic teams around the world. We are confident that under his coaching UAE men’s cricket will flourish further.

"I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mudassar Nazar for his stellar work as the interim head coach. Mudassar will now return to his role as Head of the National Academy Programme where he will continue to identify and groom our future stars," said Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary Emirates Cricket Board.

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