Former India and Mumbai opener Lalchand Rajput has been awarded the position of head coach of the Zimbabwe cricket team. Rajput was appointed on an interim basis as the coach in June 2018, after Zimbabwe Cricket sacked Heath Streak after the team failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
Lalchand Rajput was the manager of the 2007 World T20 winning Indian team and was coach of Afghanistan team. Rajput recently served as head coach of Ranji Trophy side Assam and has also mentored the Mumbai Indians during IPL 2018. He has also served as the coaching director at BCCI's National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukhlani said, "We are targeting qualification for the next T20 and 50-over World Cup tournaments and we believe Lalchand has the pedigree and experience to build a young side and help us achieve our goals."
He added, "Lalchand has a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record of success throughout his career."His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward."
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza also welcomed Rajput as the coach and said, " think it is a positive move from ZC. Appointing someone of his experience and stature bodes well for the future of our cricket as he is a really positive coach who brings a lot of positive energy and wants to see positive results for the team."
He added, "I have been very impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail. We have worked on a lot of specifics and put a lot of time into our games. The boys have responded really well to the rigorous training schedule and we are already starting to see a lot of improvement."
A limited-overs tour of South Africa starting September 30 will be Rajput’s first assignment as head coach. It will be followed by a trip to Bangladesh, where Zimbabwe will play three ODIs and two Tests.
(with inputs from Cricbuzz.com)