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Shaun Tait, the former Australia quick who recently signed a five-month deal to be bowling coach with the Afghanistan national team, has also been roped in as bowling coach of Puducherry in the Indian domestic circuit. Afghanistan remains a priority, though, and Tait will link up with Puducherry only when available.
"I'm with [Puducherry] throughout the season based on availability from my commitments with the Afghanistan team," Tait confirmed to ESPNcricinfo on Saturday. Puducherry have Dishant Yagnik as their head coach - both Tait and Yagnik have been players with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in the past, and Yagnik has more recently been Royals' fielding coach.
"Tait has expressed his willingness to join the Puducherry team later this month. However, if he gets a call from Afghanistan he may join them and stay with the team before rejoining Puducherry for his duties," a Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP) official was quoted as saying by PTI, which said that Tait was expected to mentor the quick bowlers at the CAP academy in Puducherry too.
India's domestic calendar for 2021-22 will begin with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy on November 4 this year, while the Ranji Trophy, the country's premier first-class competition, starts on January 13, 2022. The 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy will get underway on December 8, with neutral venues being used for all tournaments.
Tait's appointment with Afghanistan was confirmed in early August, and his first assignment there was expected to be the three-match ODI series against Pakistan in Hambantota in early September. But that series was postponed indefinitely because of logistical concerns, and Tait will now link up with the team only prior to the T20 World Cup in late October. He was never expected to move to Kabul, and had said the agreement had been that he would join the team whenever they travelled.
"There have been talks for a few months now about me possibly taking up the role," 38-year-old Tait told ESPNcricinfo earlier about his Afghanistan gig. "It eventuated because head coach Lance Klusener wanted someone else to oversee the bowling side specifically.
"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."
Tait 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.