Former India seamer Manoj Prabhakar, who has been appointed bowling coach of the Afghanistan national side for the upcoming ICC World T20, is hopeful of forming a fruitful coaching partnership with chief coach Inzamam-ul Haq.
“For the last five days, I have been working with Afghanistan’s U-19 side at the Greater Noida stadium. I am amazed at the level of talent and that’s exactly what a coach wants. Some of these guys are at par with players of Ranji teams. With Inzamam (chief coach) alongside me, we will strike a fruitful coaching partnership and help these youngsters,” Prabhakar told PTI on Friday.
Prabhakar also informed that the proposed four-match limited overs series between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will now take place in Dubai instead of Greater Noida.
“I don’t know the reasons but the series will now happen in Dubai instead of Greater Noida. I have applied for my visa and as soon as I get it, I will join Inzy and the senior team in Dubai. I am very hopeful that ‘our team’ will do well in the upcoming World T20. Afghanistan will surely produce some future stars,” said Prabhakar.
The former all-rounder also thanked senior BCCI official and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla for helping him get a coaching job four years after he was unceremoniously dumped by the DDCA after the 2010-11 ranji season.
“Today, I formally signed the deal with Afghanistan Cricket Board. While my home state DDCA never thought of using my services, I am happy that I am able to again come back to coaching. I would forever be grateful to Rajeev Shukla for his role in getting me the job,” Prabhakar said.
The 52-year-old Prabhakar, known as one of the finest exponents of swing bowling, however, is sad that his knowledge and expertise was never used by men who mattered.
“Let’s not talk about DDCA. The lesser said the better it is. We all know and can see what exactly is happening. But I also felt that BCCI never thought of using my knowledge on swing bowling at any level. Yes, I am a businessman now and that’s how I earn a living. But I have always been a coach at heart,” said Prabhakar, who was once banned by BCCI for allegations of match-fixing.
He also took the opportunity to thank former teammate Navjot Singh Sidhu, for giving him hope that all will be well.
“Among my former teammates, it was Sidhu, whom I will be indebted to for giving me encouragement and strength. When I used to get disappointed that I was not getting any coaching offers, Sidhu told me that ‘Don’t worry, your time will come’,” said Prabhakar.