Lalchand Rajput named new UAE coach ahead of Cricket World Cup qualifying

Former India batter appointed on three-year deal as ECB complete search for successor to Robin Singh

Lalchand Rajput has been named the new UAE coach. Photo: UAE Cricket
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Lalchand Rajput, the former India batter, has been named as the new coach of UAE.

The 62-year-old, who has previously coached Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, has signed a three-year deal. The appointment thus ends an 11-month wait for a successor to Robin Singh.

Singh, who was in charge of the MI Emirates as they won the DP World ILT20 on Saturday night, was let go in March 2023.

Mudassar Nazar, the former Pakistan all-rounder, was in interim charge in the meantime, as the national team looked for a full-time replacement.

Rajput officially takes charge of the team this week. His first assignment will be the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series involving Scotland and Canada in Dubai.

The national team will then host Scotland for three bilateral T20Is next month.

“I want to thank the Emirates Cricket Board for appointing me for this exciting role,” Rajput said.

“The UAE has emerged as one of the stronger Associate members in recent years and the players have put in some good performances in both ODIs and T20Is.

“The current batch is exceptionally talented, and I look forward to working with them and further harnessing their cricket skills.”

Mubashshir Usmani, the ECB general secretary, confirmed Nazar will retain an influential role in the game in the Emirates.

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“Rajput has a proven track record and has done an exceptional job as a coach for various national and domestic teams around the world,” Usmani said.

“We are confident that under his coaching UAE men’s cricket will flourish further.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mudassar Nazar for his stellar work as the interim head coach. Mudassar will now return to his role as head of the National Academy programme where he will continue to identify future stars.”

The national team has had a significant turnover of players in recent times, and now has a younger average age than at any point in the past.

Teenagers such as Aayan Khan and Ali Naseer are already integral figures in the side.

Rajput’s appointment coincides with the start of the qualifying cycle for the next 50-over World Cup.

“I am confident the boys, buoyed by their exposure to top quality cricket and practice facilities here in Dubai will continue to prosper,” Rajput said.

“UAE cricket has a very bright future and my goal would be to make the team perform more consistently and take them to the next level which I am very confident they are fully capable of.”

Updated: February 21, 2024, 9:14 AM