Former India allrounder Manoj Prabhakar has been named Afghanistan's bowling coach until the end of the World T20 in India next year. Prabhakar will join Inzamam-ul-Haq, Afghanistan's head coach, in the support staff.
"I am glad I can guide the Afghan team. They have immense talent and I am sure, in the years to come, the Afghanistan team would emerge as a force to reckon with in all forms of the game," Prabhakar told The Hindu. "They have shown a healthy keenness to learn the finer points of the game."
Prabhakar's most recent coaching stint was with the Delhi state side, where he was sacked two days before the start of the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy season for making critical comments about the players and selectors.
Prabhakar's appointment comes in the wake of recent strong ties between the BCCI and the Afghanistan Cricket Board. The two boards recently signed an MoU with the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority to use the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex as their home ground.
Afghanistan have shown a tremendous rise in their performances in the last six months. They won five of the seven completed matches they played in the World T20 Qualifier in Ireland in July to qualify for the main event, topped it by clinching a historic 3-2 ODI series win against Zimbabwe, whitewashed Zimbabwe 2-0 in the T20s, and recently won both T20Is against Oman in Abu Dhabi.
Afghanistan are slotted with Scotland, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe in Group B of the World T20 and only one of the four teams will make it to Group 1 to join England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies for the Super 10 stage.