The Afghanistan Cricket Team on Wednesday appointed Sri Lanka’s former cricketer, Avishka Gunawardene as their head batting coach for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan. The ODI series is scheduled to take place between 1st and 5th September in Sri Lanka. Gunawardene has replaced Afghanistan’s previous batting coach Hylton Deon Ackerman for the role.
As per reports, Gunawardne will only be in charge of the position only during the series against Pakistan and later the cricket board is expected to take a decision on whether to extend his contract, subject to his approval.
Talking about Gunawardene’s credentials, the Sri Lankan cricketer has served as Sri Lanka’s batting coach and also coached the Sri Lanka A and Emerging teams. The new role as the batting coach of the Afghanistan Cricket Team will be Gunawardene’s major assignment since being cleared of corruption charges relating to alleged breaches of the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code during the T10 tournament in the UAE in 2017.
Afghanistan Cricket Board recently signed Shaun Tait as their bowling coach. Gunawardene is their latest recruit as a member of Afghanistan’s management. The former Sri Lanka cricketer will be in charge of the upcoming series. His extension in the contract will be taken after his approval. Tait and Gunawardene are expected to join the team in Sri Lanka directly.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Hamid Shinwari has assured that cricket won’t be hampered amidst the strife-torn state of affairs in Afghanistan. “We have already resumed (our office),” Shinwari told Cricbuzz.
Earlier, the board clarified that the Afghanistan Cricket Team would be participating in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup regardless of the situation in the country. The team will start their training in Kabul soon.
The three ODIs between Pakistan and Afghanistan will be taking place on 1st, 3rd, and 5th September 2021.
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