G Hondo with coach Lalchand Rajput before Zimbabwe team left for Pakistan
G Hondo with coach Lalchand Rajput before Zimbabwe team left for Pakistan
FPJ pic

Mumbai

Lalchand Rajput, the head coach of Zimbabwe is not with the team in Pakistan, but still is part of the team, virtually, if not physically.

“It is different, but what matters is the message that as a coach I and the team share,” said Lalchand Rajput from Hazare in Zimbabwe while talking to Free Press Journal, on the eve of the match against Pakistan on Friday, October 30.

This is for the first time a national coach is coaching the team virtually. “The boys are responding well and Hondo is doing a good job out there,” said the coach, who does not find it hard despite Pakistan being three hours ahead in their timing.

Zimbabwe Cricket issued a statement stating the reason behind Lalchand Rajput's absence, saying the Indian embassy in Harare had sought an exemption for Rajput visiting Pakistan, citing travel guidelines issued by the Government of India for its citizens.

“Yes, with due respects to all I will abide by the orders of the Indian embassy, but I am sure my absence will not make much of a difference as Hondo and I are in constant touch and with the latest technology we are getting the thing in the right path,” said Lalchand.

The 58-year-old Rajput has represented India in six international games (four ODIs and two Tests) and was appointed as Zimbabwe's head coach in August 2018, after they failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. Rajput is more famously known for being the Indian men's cricket team manager when the Men in Blue won the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 under MS Dhoni's leadership. At the time, India did not have a full-time head coach.

Zimbabwe is all set to lock horns with Pakistan in two limited-overs series starting October 30. The two teams will first take on each other in a three-match T20I series in Rawalpindi followed by a three-match ODI series in Lahore.

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Free Press Journal

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