Phil Simmons is the new head coach of Afghan national cricket team, taking over the role left vacant when the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) 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 till the 2019 World Cup.
“We went with Phil because he understand our team,” said Shafiq Stanikzai, the ACB Chief Executive Officer, as cited by Espncricinfo. “He has coached West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland – all these are teams Afghanistan will play in the World Cup Qualifiers. He is a good prospect.”
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.
Simmons had also interviewed for the Bangladesh coach job earlier this month.