Former South Africa cricketer Lance Klusener has decided not to renew his contract as the head coach of Afghanistan cricket team after his tenure ends on December 31.
The former South Africa all-rounder was first appointed as the head coach of the Afghan senior men’s cricket team in September 2019.
Issuing a statement, he said: “Having spent two years with the team, I will take away some memorable moments with me.”
“As I walk away from Afghanistan cricket team and its cricketing structure, I look forward to the next stage in my coaching career and opportunities it brings,” he added.
Klusener had taken over from Andy Moles, who was serving as the Afghanistan head coach after the exit of Phil Simmons following the 2019 World Cup in England. Later, Klusener’s contract was extended at the end of 2020.
“I am extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best talent in world cricket,” Klusener had said after his appointment in 2019.
“Everyone knows the fearless brand of cricket Afghanistan play. I am very confident that with some hard work we can become one of the best sides in the world,” he had added.
Notably, even as Afghanistan played very little cricket in the year 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it performed decently well in all formats under Klusener. Afghanistan won one Test, three out of six ODIs and nine out of the 14 T20Is, which includes series wins over West Indies and Ireland during Klusener’s tenure.
However, Afghanistan had a disappointing outing in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman where they crashed out of the knockouts race after managing to win only two of their five Super 12s matches.
During his playing days, Klusener represented South Africa in 49 Tests and 171 ODIs between 1996 to 2004. He had amassed 1906 and 3576 runs in Tests and ODIs respectively beside bagging 80 and 192 wickets in the two formats.
The former South Africa all-rounder has previously worked as the batting coach of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He had also served as the head coach of the South Africa domestic side Dolphins, as well as bowling coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians, the most successful side in the history of the cash-rich league after winning five titles.