Former Pakistan batsman will aid neighboring team for another year.
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has agreed to extend his contract as Afghanistan cricket team’s head coach for one year, he said on Wednesday.
The swashbuckling batsman, who played 120 Tests and 388 one-day internationals in an illustrious career, took the job last month for Afghanistan’s tour to Zimbabwe only. But Afghanistan’s extraordinary show, in which they won the five-match one-day series 3-2 followed by twin wins in as many Twenty20 internationals, prompted the extension, coming as their first series wins against a Test playing country.
Haq said he was happy to extend the contract. “I have agreed to extend the contract by 12 months,” he said. “They wanted me to extend it by three years but I want to judge myself as coach so I agreed to one year. If I keep my good performance intact and they [Afghanistan Cricket Board] are satisfied it can be further extended.”
Afghanistan has had a fairytale rise in international cricket, graduating from division five to two in 2009 before qualifying for the World Twenty20 a year later. They also qualified for the 2015 World Cup and will play their fourth World Twenty20 in India next year.
Haq said Afghanistan’s real coaching will be done only once they are not playing matches. “At the moment the Afghanistan team is playing matches so I am mostly planning but once they are free I will coach them on technical things,” he said.
Haq will tour Kabul to oversee a coaching academy and discuss various other matters from Thursday.
Afghanistan will play Oman, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea in various matches in the United Arab Emirates later this month. They are also scheduled to play limited over matches against Zimbabwe in December this year.
Haq is the third Pakistani to coach Afghanistan after Kabir Khan had two stints and Rashid Latif one. Most Afghan players learned the game during their stay in refugee camps on the Afghan-Pakistan border when their country was invaded by Russia in 1979.