• Monday, Nov 28, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Klusener plots Afghanistan's T20 WC bid from home after Taliban takeover

  • Published at 03:27 pm October 1st, 2021
Lance Klusener

Klusener is at home near Durban while the bulk of the Afghan players are attending a low-key training camp in a country still getting to grips with its takeover by the Taliban

Sporting assignments do not come much tougher than Lance Klusener's role as head coach of Afghanistan as he tries to plan a World Cup campaign with a team who are 12,000km away.

In an ideal world, Klusener and his squad would already be in the United Arab Emirates preparing for their first fixture of the T20 World Cup on October 25.

Instead, the former South Africa all-rounder is at home near Durban while the bulk of the players are attending a low-key training camp in a country still getting to grips with its takeover by the Taliban.

Coaching Afghanistan was not easy even before the Taliban took control but it has become even more difficult, with a series against Pakistan postponed and the country's professional T20 tournament cancelled since the change in regime.

The Taliban's influence has already been felt at the headquarters of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, with a new chairman and chief executive installed.

A major concern for Afghanistan's status as a full member of the ICC is the likely demise of women's cricket in the country.

Klusener, 50, has been to Kabul "about half a dozen times" in varying weather conditions since his appointment two years ago.

He has yet to speak to the new men in charge but says his understanding is that the Taliban are "all for promoting and supporting cricket."

While that happens Klusener - who played 49 Tests and 171 ODIs for South Africa - is concentrating on the everyday challenges of his job.

Eight of Afghanistan's 15-man World Cup squad have experience of playing professional T20 cricket in other countries, led by the country's "Big Three" of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, who are currently involved in the IPL in the UAE.

All three are spin bowlers. 

One thing Klusener is not worried about is a change in captaincy.

Rashid resigned because he was not consulted about selection and Nabi was appointed in his place.

Klusener said he did not expect any tension between the two players.

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