The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has roped in former West Indies coach Phil Simmons as consultant for the next three series, against Zimbabwe, Ireland and West Indies. According to the ACB, he will assist head coach Lalchand Rajput on technical issues.
Afghanistan's tour of Zimbabwe starts on February 16 in Harare and includes five ODIs, before they host Ireland in Greater Noida, India, in March. Afghanistan are scheduled to visit the Caribbean in June.
"He will be working with the team as a consulting coach," ACB chief executive officer Shafiq Stanikzai told ESPNcricinfo. "His expertise will greatly favour us, as he has coached all three teams we are playing against. His appointment is a valuable step in our players' road to development."
Simmons, 53, was removed last September by the WICB, just six months after coaching West Indies to the World T20 title, due to "differences in culture and strategic approach". He had a successful stint with Ireland before that; in his eight years in charge of the team, they won 11 trophies and qualified for every major ICC event. In the mid-2000s, he had worked with Zimbabwe. An allrounder, Simmons had played 26 Tests and 143 ODIs for West Indies between 1987 and 1999.
After he was relieved of the West Indies coaching job, Simmons was appointed head coach of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots for the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Premier League. He was recently in the UAE for the duration of the Desert T20 Challenge, which Afghanistan won after defeating Ireland by 10 wickets in the final. It is understood that Simmons was attending the tournament on behalf of the ICC Development Programme, offering his services as a coaching consultant to each of the eight Associate teams present.