Lalchand Rajput, Manager Of India’s 2007 T20 World Cup-Winning Team, Appointed UAE Head Coach

Lalchand Rajput, former India cricketer, has been appointed the head coach of United Arab Emirates (UAE) men’s cricket team for a three-year term on Wednesday (February 21). Rajput is all set to take over the reins from Mudassar Nasar. While Rajput has not previously coached India, he was the manager of the MS Dhoni-led India side that went on to lift the T20 World Cup in 2007. In addition, he was also the coach of Afghanistan when they received Test status in 2017.

Rajput’s most recent coaching experience was with Zimbabwe, a side that he coached for four years from 2018 to 2022. And now Rajput finds himself in charge of what he in his own words calls one of the stronger Associate Members.

“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,” Rajput said as per an official statement released by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).

“The current batch is exceptionally talented and I look forward to working with them and further harnessing their cricket skills,” he added.

Under Lalchand Rajput, UAE Cricket Will Flourish: ECB General Secretary

Among the 62-year-old’s first assignment will be to oversee UAE’s League 2 tri-series against Scotland and Canada, a competition which is set to get underway on February 28. The tournament will be an important one as it will be a qualifying competition for the ODI World Cup 2027. A veteran of 110 first-class matches and nearly 8000 runs, Rajput will take over a side whose most recent result was a 2-1 defeat to Afghanistan.

UAE also missed out on a chance of making it to the T20 World Cup 2024 where they succumbed to a defeat against Nepal in the semi-final of the Asia-Pacific qualifiers but ECB’s general secretary Mubashshir Usmani is confident that under Rajput UAE men’s cricket team will flourish.

“We are confident that under his coaching UAE men’s cricket will flourish further,” Usmani said.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mudassar Nazar for his stellar work as the interim head coach. Mudassar will now return to his role as Head of the National Academy Programme where he will continue to identify and groom our future stars,” he added.