Former Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait has been appointed the Afghanistan cricket team's bowling coach with immediate effect for a period of five months. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced the signing of Tait on Monday (August 9).
Tait's first assignment with Afghanistan will be a three-match ODI series against Pakistan to be played between September 1 and 5 in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. His stint also included the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 and their maiden Test match in Australia, starting November 27 in Hobart.
It will be Tait’s first coaching stint in international cricket, however, the Aussie is a level-two certified coach from Cricket Australia (CA) and has coached various domestic and some international franchise teams including Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL).
The ACB said in an official statement: “Former Australian Fast bowler Shaun Tait has been appointed Afghanistan National team’s bowling coach with immediate effect. During his prime, Tait was one of history’s fastest bowlers clocking extreme pace of 160 kph.”
Meanwhile, the 38-year-old revealed that there have been talks for a few months now about him possibly taking up the role as Afghanistan’s bowling coach and it eventually happened because head coach Lance Klusener wanted someone else to oversee the department specifically.
With Afghanistan being heavily dependent on their quality spin troika of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the white-ball cricket, the Aussie is looking forward to the role to get the fast bowlers ready to play a bigger role in the team.
Tait told ESPNcricinfo: “Everyone talks about Afghanistan's spinners, so one of the specifics of my role is to get people talking more about their fast bowlers. There is some improvement to be done and hopefully, I can add that side of things. With all the concentration on the spin, a couple of guys get picked to do the role at the death and they're gonna need some guidance. That's where I come in.”
He added, “There’re some exciting guys like Naveen-u-Haq, who has clearly shown that certainly at the death with his change-up deliveries... He is obviously not gonna be the only Afghanistan fast bowler who can do it. If someone like Naveen is doing well in the CPL and over here in the UK in the Blast, means there's a future there for fast bowling. So I am looking forward to getting in there, working with guys like him, all the other fast bowlers, and including the spinners and learning more about the spin side.”
The former Australian bowler lives in London with his family now and won't be moving to Kabul, but he “will be traveling wherever the team goes”. He signed off by saying, “And obviously the big one is the T20 World Cup and I am looking forward to being a big part of that.”
Noteworthy, Tait played 35 ODIs, 21 T20Is, and 3 Tests for Australia. He won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 with the Australian squad, as well as, was part of the team that finished as the runners-up in the 2010 ICC T20 World Cup.
(With ANI/ESPNCricinfo Inputs)