KABUL: Former India batsman Lalchand Rajput was today named head coach of the Afghanistan national cricket team, replacing ex-Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq who resigned from the post in April.
Recommended for the job by the BCCI, Rajput pipped Pakistan's Mohammed Yusuf, South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs and West Indies' Corey Collymore.
"Mr. Rajput has coached the Indian Under-19 Cricket side as well as the Mumbai Indians franchise in the IPL. His experience is a key asset for Afghanistan Cricket," Afghanistan Cricket Board Chairman Danish Nasimullah said in a statement.
"Mr. Rajput is technically and professionally strong coach in cricket, I am sure his presence with Afghan national cricket team will benefit the team. He will be joining the team for the Scotland, Ireland and Netherland tour," he added.
Nasimullah said that another former India player Mohammed Kaif had also applied for the post.
"We have received several applications from all over the world, Lalchand Rajput and also Mohammad Kaif were shortlisted for the final round of interview. However Rajput was selected by the selection committee," he said.
According to reports, Rajput's name was recommended by the BCCI and he is in line for a two-year contract, but that decision would be finalised after the upcoming tour of Europe.
Born in Mumbai, 54-year-old Rajput played two Tests and four ODI matches between 1985 and 1987.
After his retirement, Rajput served as joint secretary of Mumbai Cricket Association. He also took up coaching, which included successful stints with the India Under-19 and 'A' teams.
Rajput was the manager of the Indian team which won the inaugural World T20 in 2007. He was the coach of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League in 2008.