Lalchand Rajput and the Afghanistan cricket team will be parting ways after the Afghanistan Cricket Board announced that they will not be extending the head coach’s contract, which is due to the expire this month.
In a statement shared on Sunday, the ACB wrote, “The ACB wouldn’t extend head coach Rajput’s contract which is due to expire at the end of August this year. We would like to thank Rajput for his satisfactory performance. We’re currently in the process of recruiting a new coach for the national cricket team.”
While the ACB did not elaborate on the reasons for this, Rajput confirmed to various media organisations that decision was taken after he refused to work from Kabul due to security reasons.
“They wanted me to come to Kabul. This is something I had told them earlier also – I cannot stay there, with the current security threats in the region. We have done so well and even got Test status. I was told that people are now asking why the head coach was not in Kabul, and that I should be there,” Rajput told Wisden India.
“I told them that’s out of question, and that they can look for someone else. This was actually the only reason to part ways. They have got the National Cricket Academy in Kabul, so I told them it’s better to hire someone, maybe a local coach, who can stay there and look after the local boys. They want someone to look after their domestic players and eventually pick some of the boys (for the national team). I am not willing to risk my life for this, that’s the only reason why I will not be continuing with the role,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
The former Indian player took over from Inzamam-ul-Haq last June and was in charge when Afghanistan attained Test status in June. The Afghan national team enjoyed a successful run under him with wins six out of 10 limited-overs series, including an ODI win over West Indies – their best performance so far.