Afghanistan © Getty Images
Under Kabir Khan, Afghanistan qualified for three World Twenty20 events in 2010, 2012 and 2014 © Getty Images

Karachi: Sep  2, 2014

Afghanistan’s cricket coach resigned Tuesday, saying the job was putting too much strain on his family, dealing the side a major blow in its preparations for next year’s World Cup. Kabir Khan, who played four Tests and 10 one-day internationals for Pakistan, led minnows Afghanistan to qualification for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In his first stint as coach, starting in 2007, Khan took Afghanistan from international division five to one and helped them gain full one-day status from the International Cricket Council.

“I have resigned from coach’s post,” the 40-year-old told AFP by phone from the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

“The simple reason is that my family was suffering from my being away on tours and I was not enjoying coaching.”

Most of the Afghan players learnt the game in refugee camps in neighbouring Pakistan during the occupation by the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Under Khan, Afghanistan qualified for three World Twenty20 events in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Khan denied his resignation would hurt Afghanistan.

“I think qualifying for the World Cup was more important than playing it so I don’t think my not being there will affect the performance, ” said Khan, whose first stint came to an end after interference in his work by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in 2010. He denied this was a factor this time.

“No, there was no interference,” Khan said. “When you don’t enjoy your work it’s not advisable to continue and let another man do the job because Afghanistan are going to play in an important event.”

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif replaced him in 2010 and helped Afghanistan win silver medal in the Asian Games in China that same year. Khan said the ACB had accepted his resignation.

“I had informed them a month ago but we reached the agreement a few days back and they accepted my stance,” said Khan.

Former New Zealand coach Andy Moles is likely to replace Khan. Moles was earlier this year appointed batting coach of the Afghanistan team.