Budgetary constraints have forced Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to part ways with Andy Moles, the technical director and chairman of the selection panel for Afghanistan cricket. The decision was taken by ACB on Monday, with former batsman Raees Ahmadzai taking charge of the roles performed by Moles.
“He has been removed as cricket director,” Nazim Jaar AbdulrahimzaI, the acting chief executive of ACB, told ESPNcrcinfo. “The reason is the lack of cricket and lack of budget.”
Jaar said the ACB had contacted Moles on Monday to communicate the decision and also told him he would be compensated with two months’ severance package. Moles confirmed the development saying the ACB would pay him two month’s salary, but with the existing 50% pay cut.
According to Jaar, the rest of the coaching staff, including Afghanistan head coach Lance Klusener and batting coach HD Ackermann, will continue in their roles. Recently the ACB, constrained due to lack of cricket, and with one of major sponsors exiting the contract due to the Covid-19 pandemic, revised the salaries of the coaching staff with Moles, Klusener and rest of the support staff, including those from Afghanistan, taking a 50% pay cut.
For Moles, the development comes on the back of him having his left leg – knee down – amputated. Despite the setback, Moles had said he was looking forward to carry on with his coaching life and had planned to visit Kabul from Cape Town as soon both countries had opened their borders.
During his six years at Afghanistan, Moles served various roles, including as head coach during the 2015 World Cup and the 2018 Under-19 World Cup. Moles then took up the role of director of cricket in October last year.
Jaar said the ACB had a lot of ‘respect” for Moles, but it was an unfortunate way to end the relationship. “He served Afghanistan for five years. We do appreciate his hard work what he did for Afghanistan cricket. The only problem was that he was far away from here and we need some person to work here and be in touch with ACB. Meanwhile the budget allocated is also not sufficient.”
It is understood that ACB was happy to hire Ahmadzai for a lot lesser compared to the amount it was paying Moles and that was one key reason behind the move.
Incidentally, the development comes after the ACB revamped its board and inducted Mohammad Nabi, who is still playing limited overs cricket for Afghanistan, as a board member. Ahmadzai is a former captain of Nabi and played five ODIs and eight T20Is before retiring in 2010. He then served as Afghanistan head coach in 2017 and performed a similar role at the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa this year. Ahmadzai is a popular figure in Afghanistan cricket, having coached the likes of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman from their age-group days.
In a media release, the ACB said Ahmadzai had the experience and the technical know-how which prompted him to be elevated. “The purpose of the appointment is to strengthen the technical aspect of the game for the national level team, build the capacity of players and to devise and implement plans and policies for the training and development of players.”