When Jonathan Trott first took the Afghanistan job he needed to pay for his personal flights.
The 42-year-old then took a recreation towards Ireland in a San Francisco 49ers jacket – his favorite NFL group – as there was no equipment obtainable for him.
Fast ahead 18 months and Trott has simply agreed a recent one-year deal following Afghanistan’s historic World Cup.
The former England batsman – a three-time Ashes winner – has excelled in his first head coach position however admits it has been an eye-opener.
“Some things have improved, some have stayed the same. When I arrived in Ireland I’d had to buy my own ticket to fly to there,” Trott advised the PA information company forward of Thursday’s first T20 recreation with India in Mohali.
“I remember coaching the first game, I had to wear an NFL jacket because I didn’t have a jacket in Ireland in August, it was freezing and we didn’t have any tracksuits.
“These sorts of things hit you, when you play for England you realise how lucky you are, how you are afforded the best facilities, the best kit, the best organisation.
“With us you have a manager, physio and coach. It’s going back to the start of my cricketing days and that’s what makes it so enjoyable, seeing 18 months down the line what the guys are doing.”
World Cup wins over England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Netherlands in India throughout October and November underlined Afghanistan’s progress. Only an astonishing 201 from Glenn Maxwell stopped the Blue Tigers taking the scalp of Australia.
Wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz was a cattle farmer whereas Fazalhaq Farooqi was a labourer, together with constructing mud partitions, whereas honing their cricketing abilities.
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake which struck the nation in October, killing over 2,400 individuals, additionally impacted the squad, with star man Rashid Khan donating his match charges to the aid effort.
Now, Afghanistan had 10 gamers within the IPL public sale final month, with their journeys not misplaced on Trott.
“I’ve seen a picture of Fazal five years ago ploughing a field in traditional Afghan attire,” he stated. “It’s one of the most stark contrasts, it brings you to the realisation of what the players have achieved.
“He was ploughing lines to plant potatoes and now is in the IPL.”
The nation’s cricketing success has include the squad enjoying beneath a flag not recognised by their nation and singing a nationwide anthem which doesn’t exist following the Taliban’s return to energy in 2021.
While the interior workings of the federal government is one thing Trott doesn’t focus on, he cares about his gamers.
“I consciously stay away from politics, I don’t talk politics with the guys on purpose because it might make them uncomfortable, like they can’t be honest with me,” he says.
“I coach cricket, I listen, I ask questions and I’m courteous with regards to the players, their upbringings and what makes them.
“There are some very religious views and some aren’t as religious as others. I find that interesting, the dynamics of that and the balance the players have.
“As coaches sometimes we blur the lines because every time we speak we think we have to come up with some golden nugget or something we want the players to look at and go: ‘Oh, that’s revolutionary.’”
The former Warwickshire batter has proved he can alter his strategy, altering his batting order in coaching to accommodate prayers being a chief instance.
Despite committing his future to Afghanistan, his ambition will not be restricted to the nation, with Trott beforehand underlining his want to teach England having had a earlier spell as batting coach.
It is one which stays however, with the T20 World Cup in June, his eyes stay on the current.
“I’m focused on making sure we’re in the best place possible for the World Cup. I’d be lying if I didn’t want to coach England or in the IPL,” he stated, having overseen a 2-1 T20 collection win towards the UAE this month.
“If somebody asked me when I was a youngster would you want to play for England? I would have said: ‘Yes, absolutely.’ I don’t see that as a problem. It’s good to be ambitious and it’s good to want to be at the top, wanting to be the best.”