India’s T20 World Cup-winning coach Lalchand Rajput named as UAE’s new head coach

Emirates Cricket Board in its fresh move, officially announced Lalchand Rajput as the new head coach of the UAE men’s team for three years on Wednesday, February 21.

Rajput, who represented India in two Tests and four ODIs, will take up the role this week as UAE is set to host Canada and Scotland in an ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 ODI tri-series. The action starts on Wednesday, February 28, with UAE taking on Canada in Dubai.

Rajput’s first T20I assignment is scheduled for March as Scotland will face Muhammad Waseem and Co. in a three-match series in Dubai. Rajput heaped praise on the talent that the UAE players possess and said that his goal is to bring out consistent performances from the team and take them to new heights.

“I want to thank the Emirates Cricket Board for appointing me for this exciting role. 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,” Rajput said in an official statement released by the Emirates Cricket Board while announcing his appointment.

“I am confident that the boys buoyed by their exposure to top-quality cricket and practice facilities here in Dubai will continue to prosper, 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,” the 62-year-old added.

Notably, Lalchand Rajput served as the team manager of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning Indian team. He coached Mumbai Indians in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League. In 2016, Rajput replaced Inzamam-ul-Haq as Afghanistan’s head coach, and the Blue Tigers were promoted to Full Membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) during his tenure, which also gave them Test status. After his stint with Afghanistan ended, the right-handed batter also coached Zimbabwe from 2018 to 2022.