Durban High School old boy, Imraan Khan has been appointed as the head coach of the Dolphins for the 2019/20 season, starting with their CSA 4-Day Franchise Series clash with the Titans on October 7 in Pretoria.
Khan, who served as assistant coach to Grant Morgan for two and a half seasons, is born-and-bred in KwaZulu-Natal and played his entire domestic cricket career for the Dolphins, KZN Coastal and KZN Inland. He notched 333 caps in his professional career with one test cap to his name, when he played against Australia in Cape Town in 2009. In first class cricket, the left-hander scored just short of 10 000 runs and took 62 wickets with his handy off-spin. He averaged 36.58 with the bat scoring 20 hundreds and 49 fifties. Khan also boasts the most caps as a captain of the Dolphins with 86 caps as the skipper across the three formats.
He was known for his dogged attitude with the bat and was one of the top opening batsmen in South African domestic cricket which culminated in him being award SuperSport Series Player of the Season in 2009. The 35-year-old says that to be moving into the head mentor role at the franchise that he spent his entire career is a dream come true. “I am incredibly excited by this appointment and I cannot wait to take the challenge on,” Khan said.
“I am a born and raised KZN boy and the Dolphins have been a huge part of the my life growing up so to take over and be in charge is a massive honour.”
Grant Morgan left the Dolphins to take up the position of assistant coach of the Scotland national side that is currently being coached by former KZN Inland coach, Shane Burger. Khan was full of praise for Morgan and what he has done for the franchise.
“Morgs is a terrific coach and I have learnt so much from him in the time that we worked together,” he said.
“He is a student of the game and he was someone that I learnt so much from even from my days of playing for Inland and the Dolphins. I wish him all the best in Scotland.”
Khan understands the importance of good support structures and his first task will be to put that in place. Khan is also hoping that he can tap into the brains of former Dolphins legends. “It would be great if we could have ex-Dolphins players in certain roles with the side throughout the season,” he said.
“They have been such great servants for the game in this province and they understand what this franchise is about so if we could harness that, it would add another dimension to our side.”
CEO of KZN Cricket, Heinrich Strydom is confident that Khan is the man for the position and will be a good mentor for the side going into the new season. “Imraan was very good in the backup role to Morgs, in a time where we reached three finals of the last four white ball competitions. Immy had an admirable playing career, lots of experience in leadership roles and a strong start to his coaching career and therefore we felt he was the right man to take up the position,” said Strydom.
“We are looking forward to the coming season with Imraan at the helm, and will give him all the support we possibly can. There is an important four-day campaign coming up and historically we have battled in the red ball format. It will be a good test for him in his first appointment as head coach, a test that I am sure he will pass.”