Former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons was on Sunday named as the new coach of the Afghanistan cricket team. Afghanistan, who were awarded a Test status by the International Cricket Council in June, along with Ireland, are readying themselves for their first Test match. The Afghanistan Cricket Board took to Twitter to make the announcement on Sunday. The former opening batsman and medium fast bowler, who retired from international cricket in 2002, had previous coaching spells with Zimbabwe, Ireland and the West Indies.
Simmons will now join the Afghanistan squad in Dubai as it prepares for a limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in February.
Afghanistan will play their first Test match against India, where they play the majority of their home games, although a date has yet to be announced.
They are seen as having a promising future with a talented bowling attack led by 19-year-old Rashid Khan.
Rashid Khan has produced eye-catching performances in the world's top T20 leagues, most recently with a man-of-the-match display on his Big Bash debut for the Adelaide Strikers.
"I play cricket to bring victories for my country and to make Afghanistan proud on the world stage," he told AFP in an interview in October.
(With AFP Inputs)