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Lalchand Rajput

Lalchand Rajput confirmed as Zimbabwe head coach

Zimbabwe news

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) have confirmed Lalchand Rajput as the head coach of the men's national team, after the former India international stepped into the role on an interim basis in June.

“It is an honour and privilege to work with Zimbabwe Cricket and I am really pleased to be given this opportunity to take this team to the next level, to work hard and ensure we make a difference in the coming years,” Rajput said after his appointment on a permanent basis.

Rajput represented India in two Tests and four one-day internationals, the last of which came in 1987. He continued to play first-class cricket until 1999, making 110 appearances and amassing 7,988 runs at 49.30.

Rajput has successfully coached India in the first edition of the ICC World T20 in 2007 and followed his good work later with Afghanistan. In between, he also coached Mumbai Indians in the inaugural Indian Premier League season and mentored them this year.

Tavengwa Mukhlani, the ZC Chairman, also congratulated Rajput on his appointment, saying: “We are thrilled to appoint Lalchand as the substantive head coach of Zimbabwe’s senior men’s national cricket team. Lalchand has a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record of success throughout his career.

Zimbabwe will be touring to South Africa and Bangladesh later this year
Zimbabwe will be touring to South Africa and Bangladesh later this year

“He has identified, nurtured and developed some of the best young talents in world cricket, from coaching a young India side that won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 through to recently moulding Afghanistan into a formidable team that eventually earned Test status.

“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.”

Hamilton Masakadza, the Zimbabwe captain, who led his side under Rajput's guidance in the tri-nation T20I series against Australia and Pakistan, also welcomed the appointment.

'We are already starting to see a lot of improvement' – Hamilton Masakadza
'We are already starting to see a lot of improvement' – Hamilton Masakadza

“I 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,” Masakadza said.

“I have been very impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail. We are in the middle of a training camp where he has really put the guys through their paces.

“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.”

Rajput's upcoming full-time coaching assignments include away series against South Africa and Bangladesh later this year.

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