Lalchand Sitaram Rajput is an Indian cricket coach and former cricketer who is the current head coach of the Zimbabwe National Cricket Team. Rajput played in two Tests and four ODIs from 1985 to 1987. After the conclusion of his playing career, he served as manager of the Indian national team for a brief period, and also coached Afghanistan from 2016 to 2017. He has also held administrative positions with the Mumbai Cricket Association.
|Born||Lalchand Sitaram Rajput|
December 18, 1961
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
|Known for||Being the Zimbabwe National Cricket Team coach|
Rajput had a distinguished career as an opening batsman for Bombay, and at one time was considered one of the best openers in India after Sunil Gavaskar. However, he did not translate his promise and success at the domestic level to the international arena, in the limited opportunities he had. He was an occasional off-spinner.
Rajput represented India in two Tests and four one-day internationals, the last of which came in 1987. He continued to play first-class cricket until 1999, making 110 appearances and amassing 7,988 runs at 49.30.
Rajput attended a coaching clinic held at Bangalore in April 2007. He was coach of Under-19 Indian Cricket Team during the tour of England. Rajput was appointed as the manager of the winning Indian cricket team for the 2007 Twenty20 World Championship held in South Africa.
Rajput was the coach of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2008. He was caught on camera laughing when Harbhajan Singh slapped Sreesanth after a match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. The BCCI expressed it was shameful that Rajput was laughing on witnessing the incident. It was expected that BCCI would take strong action against Rajput.
In June 2016, Rajput was named as head coach of Afghanistan's national team, replacing Pakistan's Inzamam ul Haq; during his spell in charge, they defeated West Indies in a one-day international at Gros Islet and were promoted to Full Membership of the International Cricket Council. But his contract was ended by the Afghan board in August 2017; he was later replaced by Phil Simmons.
In May 2018, he was named as the interim head coach of the Zimbabwe National Cricket Team. In August 2018, he was appointed to the role on a permanent basis. In June 2019, he was named as the coach of the Winnipeg Hawks franchise team for the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.
Leading The Zimbabwe Chevrons on the Afghanistan Tour
The Zimbabwe national cricket team left the country end of February 2021 for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ahead of their historic maiden Test series against Afghanistan early March 2021 with head coach Lalchand Rajput backing his charges to impress despite the absence of several experienced players.
The team was left severely weakened with the experienced batting duo of Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine failing to recover from illness on time to travel, while fast bowlers Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara were nursing serious injuries. There was also no place in the squad for limited overs captain Chamu Chibhabha who also missed the T-20 series due to injury. Chevrons head coach Lalchand Rajput was however pleased to see fringe and young players getting the opportunity to stake their claim in the team.
“We will definitely miss them as they are the most experienced players around. We will miss their knowledge and experience, but at the same time it gives opportunity to showcase the talent of the players who are selected,” Rajput told reporters just before the team’s departure.
Rajput had belief that the tour was an opportunity for young players such as 20-year old Wesley Madhevere and inform Tarisai Musakanda, whose last appearance in the longer version of the game was in 2017.
“Somewhere you have to start putting young talent who are performing in domestic cricket and Zimbabwe Cricket have started doing it from this series. Say for a youngster like Wesley Madhevere, it will be a huge platform to play against best spinners in the world and I am sure this tour will give them a lot of maturity and experience. Test cricket is the real test of a player which tests the character, temperament and endurance to make good decisions over a long period of time.”