UAE appoint India’s 2007 World Cup-winning member as head coach of men’s team


A key figure in India’s triumphant 2007 ICC World Twenty20 campaign, Lalchand Rajput, has been entrusted with the role of head coach for the UAE’s senior men’s cricket team. Embarking on a new chapter in his coaching career, Rajput has committed to a three-year tenure with the UAE squad, coinciding with his assumption of responsibilities this week as the team prepares for the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 ODI tri-series hosted in UAE with Scotland and Canada as participants. The series will commence on Wednesday, February 28.

Lalchand Rajput’s professional credentials are testimony to his cricketing prowess and strategic acumen. Not only was he the pivotal manager behind India’s World Twenty20 victory, but his coaching stints have brought significant progress to other national teams as well. Under his guidance, Afghanistan took major strides forward in international cricket during 2016-17, culminating in them achieving Test status. More recently, he played a key role in Zimbabwe’s qualification for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

Reflecting on his new position, Rajput expressed his gratitude to the Emirates Cricket Board and conveyed his optimistic outlook for the UAE players and their potential to raise the bar in the coming years. In his words, “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.” Emphasizing the bright future of UAE cricket, Rajput stated his goal to elevate the team’s consistent performance and to facilitate the realization of the team’s full potential.

The recent update to the ICC Test Rankings, which features noteworthy advancements secured by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ravindra Jadeja, frames the global context of cricketing achievements alongside Rajput’s appointment. Additionally, the chants of “Sachin, Sachin” echoing in an aircraft sighting Sachin Tendulkar and Babar Azam reaching the remarkable milestone of 10,000 T20 runs serve as reminders of cricket’s allure and its stars’ phenomenal feats that continue to inspire and excite fans around the world.

Rajput’s appointment has been met with genuine enthusiasm by Mubashshir Usmani, the General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board, who acknowledges Rajput’s stellar record as a coach. Usmani’s commendation is interwoven with gratitude towards Pakistan’s Mudassar Nazar for his contributions while serving as the interim head coach. Usmani remarked, “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Lalchand Rajput as UAE men’s head coach. He has done an exceptional job coaching various national and domestic teams worldwide.”

As Rajput takes up the coaching mantle, Mudassar Nazar will return to his pivotal role at the National Academy Programme, where his expertise will continue to nurture future stars of UAE cricket. This transition marks UAE’s ongoing commitment to investing in its cricketing talent and infrastructure, ensuring that the sport thrives and develops in resonance with the highest standards.

The cricketing fraternity looks on with eager anticipation as Rajput begins his journey with the UAE team. With a track record of success and a legacy of transformative coaching, his impact on the national team could very well be the turning point in UAE’s cricketing history. As they gear up for the upcoming tri-series and beyond, the seeds of progress have been firmly sown. The UAE cricket community and its supporters await with bated breath the unfolding of a new era under Rajput’s experienced helm.

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