Simmons named Afghanistan head coach

Phil Simmons has been appointed Afghanistan head coach until the 2019 World Cup.

The former West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland coach replaces Lalchand Rajput, whose contract was not extended by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in August.

Ex-Windies batsman Simmons was employed as a consultant by the ACB earlier this year and will start his new role on January 8.

ACB chief executive officer Shafiq Stanikzai said: "We went with Phil because he understands our team.

"He has coached West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland - all these are teams Afghanistan will play in the World Cup Qualifiers. He is a good prospect."

Afghanistan were awarded Test status by the International Cricket Council in June and are set to face the might of India in their first match in the longest format, with dates and a venue still to be finalised.

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