Mohammad Kaif, the front-runner for Afghanistan's head coach job
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has been approached by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) for the post of the team's head coach. Kaif is a top contender for the job and will become the second Indian to coach Afghan team, if he takes it up. This comes a month after ACB decided not to renew the contract of the current coach Lalchand Rajput.
It might not be surprising to see Kaif as Afghan cricket coach, considering his role as mentor in the domestic circuit. He was the assistant coach of Gujarat Lions franchise, where he served as the fielding coach during this year's IPL. He was also recently appointed as the captain-cum-mentor of Chhattisgarh team for the upcoming Ranji season.
Kaif, considered one of the best fielders, played 13 Tests and 125 ODIs for India. He is well remembered for his 87 off 75 knock against England, at NatWest final in 2002, which led to India's victory.
Minnows Afghanistan attracted cricket viewers' attention when they first qualified for the 2015 World Cup. They gained recognition during their outing at the 2016 World T20 in India, where they beat the eventual champions West Indies, in the group stage. They were coached by Pakistan's Inzamam Ul Haq before appointing the former Indian player Lalchand Rajput as their coach in June 2016.
In June 2017, Afghanistan were given Test status by the ICC, approving them as a full member.