Shaun Tait steps down as Afghanistan’s fast-bowling consultant

Former Australia pacer Shaun Tait has announced his decision to quit as Afghanistan’s fast-bowling coach with immediate effect. Tait’s decision comes only a day after former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener decided against extending his head coach contract with the team.

Tait, a Level-2-certified coach from Cricket Australia, was appointed for the role by the Afghanistan Cricket Board in August 2021 for five months. He was with the team at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, where Afghanistan defeated both associates Scotland and Namibia, but lost to India, Pakistan and New Zealand.

“This is to announce that I am stepping down from the fast bowling consultant job of the Afghanistan team with immediate effect,” Tait said in a release. I have enjoyed my time working with the team especially with the young Afghan fast bowlers whom I personally think have a great future.”

“Having access to a great cricketing mind like Lance Klusener (head coach of Afghanistan during my tenure) has been an absolute pleasure. I wish the Afghanistan team all the best for their future and I think Afghan fans around the globe for their unconditional support towards the team,” it read further.

Tait, who represented Australia in three Tests, 35 ODIs and 21 T20Is, has struck a deal with India’s domestic team Puducherry for a coaching role. “Tait has expressed his willingness to join the Puducherry team later this month. However, if he gets a call from Afghanistan he may join them and stay with the team before re-joining Puducherry for his duties,” sources in the Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) were quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, on November 30, Klusener, who was appointed as the head coach of the Afghanistan team in September 2019, stated that he won’t get his contract extended. Under him, the Afghanistan team won one out of three Tests, three out of six ODIs and nine out of 14 T20Is.

“Having spent two years with the team, I will take away some memorable moments with me. As I walk away from the Afghanistan cricket team and its cricketing structure, I look forward to the next stage in my coaching career and opportunities it brings,” he said.