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Former Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait has been appointed Afghanistan's bowling coach with immediate effect for a period of five months. He will be working alongside head coach Lance Klusener.
Tait's first assignment will be a three-match ODI series against Pakistan, set to be played between September 1 and 5 in Sri Lanka. That will be followed by the T20 World Cup in the UAE, for which Afghanistan are in Group 2 along with India, Pakistan, New Zealand and two qualifying teams. Afghanistan are also set to play a one-off Test in Australia, starting November 27 in Hobart.
"There have been talks for a few months now about me possibly taking up the role," Tait told ESPNcricinfo. "It eventuated because head coach Lance Klusener wanted someone else to oversee the bowling side specifically."
Afghanistan rely heavily on their spin troika of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to win them games in white-ball cricket. Tait said he wanted fast bowlers to play a bigger role as well.
"Everyone talks about Afghanistan's spinners, so one of the specifics of my role is to get people talking more about their fast bowlers. There is some improvement to be done and hopefully, I can add that side of things. With all the concentration on the spin, a couple of guys get picked to do the role at the death and they're gonna need some guidance. That's where I come in.
"There are some exciting guys like Naveen-u-Haq, who has clearly shown that, certainly at the death with his change-up deliveries... He is obviously not gonna be the only Afghanistan fast bowler who can do it. If someone like Naveen is doing well in the CPL and over here in the UK in the Blast, that means there's a future there for fast bowling. So I am looking forward to getting in there, working with guys like him, all the other fast bowlers, and including the spinners and learning more about the spin side."
Tait, who lives in London with his family now, won't be moving to Kabul though but he "will be travelling wherever the team goes. And obviously the big one is the T20 World Cup and I am looking forward to being a big part of that."
Tait, 38, is a level-two certified coach from Cricket Australia and has worked as a bowling coach with Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League and Bangla Tigers in the Abu Dhabi T10 league.
Tait , who was one of the quickest bowlers in the world, retired from all cricket in 2017. He played three Tests, 35 ODIs and 21 T20Is for Australia, picking up 95 wickets in all. In the 2007 ODI World Cup, which Australia won, Tait was the joint second-highest wicket-taker with 23 scalps.