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Simmons new head coach

Simmons new head coach

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LONDON – Former West Indies coach Phil Simmons has been appointed as Afghanistan’s new head coach.

The Trinidadian takes over the role that was left vacant when the Afghanistan Cricket Board terminated the contract of Lalchand Rajput, barely three months after the former Indian batsman was appointed.

Simmons starts work from January 8, and will join the Afghanistan squad in Dubai as it prepares for the limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in February. His contract runs until the 2019 World Cup.

Simmons was one of the three candidates shortlisted by the ACB, which conducted interviews over the past few months. He eventually emerged as a favourite, owing to his experience and success as head coach with Ireland and then West Indies. Also in favour of Simmons was his stint as a coaching consultant with the Afghanistan team last year.

“We went with Phil because he understands our team,” Shafiq Stanikzai, the ACB chief executive officer, said. “He has coached West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland – all these are teams Afghanistan will play in the World Cup qualifiers. He is a good prospect.” (