Rajput played two Tests and four One-Day Internationals for India between 1985 and 1987, apart from featuring in 110 first-class and 61 List A games. He was the interim coach of the Indian side in their successful World Twenty20 2017 campaign and has also worked with the Afghanistan side, apart from stints in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians.
Rajput joined the Zimbabwe side in June and coached them during their T20I tri-series at home against Australia and Pakistan.
“It is an honour and privilege to work with Zimbabwe Cricket and I am really pleased to be given this opportunity to take this team to the next level, to work hard and ensure we make a difference in the coming years,” Rajput said on his appointment.
ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukhlani said Rajput was the 'ideal person' to take Zimbabwe forward.
“We are thrilled to appoint Lalchand as the substantive head coach of Zimbabwe’s senior men’s national cricket team. Lalchand has a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record of success throughout his career," he said.
“He has identified, nurtured and developed some of the best young talents in world cricket, from coaching a young India side that won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 through to recently moulding Afghanistan into a formidable team that eventually earned Test status. His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.”
Hamilton Masakadza, the Zimbabwe captain, also welcomed the appointment saying Rajput brings positive energy into the side.
“I think it is a positive move from ZC," he said. "Appointing someone of his experience and stature bodes well for the future of our cricket as he is a really positive coach who brings a lot of positive energy and wants to see positive results for the team. I have been very impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail. We are in the middle of a training camp where he has really put the guys through their paces.
“We have worked on a lot of specifics and put a lot of time into our games. The boys have responded really well to the rigorous training schedule and we are already starting to see a lot of improvement.”
Zimbabwe, who have seen some rough times recently with players striking against the board due to pay issues, will be touring South Africa and Bangladesh later this year.
First Published: August 24, 2018, 6:42 PM IST