Bengaluru: Former Karnataka batsman J Arun Kumar has been appointed as the head coach of the USA cricket team, USA Cricket’s CEO Iain Higgins announced amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The 45-year-old Arun, popularly known as ‘Jak’, has been a highly successful coach in the Indian domestic circuit. He had guided Karnataka to a treble of titles (Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Cup) for two seasons in a row (2013-14 and 2014-15).

Also read: Exclusive interview with India Test batsman Hanuma Vihari

USA Cricket CEO Iain Higgins said on the association’s website that Jak was selected after an “exhaustive recruitment process”.

Also read: Exclusive - Saqlain Mushtaq on Virat Kohli

“As previously reported, following an exhaustive recruitment process, former first class Ranji Trophy and IPL player and coach, J Arunkumar, had been identified as the preferred candidate for the next Men’s Head Coach.  He travelled to the USA to meet support staff, selectors and players at the Talent Camp in Houston and to continue those discussions with us.  I’m delighted to say that we have subsequently reached agreement with ‘Jak’ that he will take up the role and be permanently based in the United States as and when his working visa has been obtained,” Higgins said.

He added that the current health crisis due to the coronavirus had presented them with “some challenges”.

“Of course, the COVID-19 crisis has now presented some challenges around the scope of the role in the short/medium term, but we look forward to completing all of the arrangements and to welcoming him more formally in due course,” he said.

Opening batsman Jak made his first-class debut in 1993-94 season. The Bengaluru-based Jak scored 7,208 runs from 109 matches with 20 hundreds. He was recently the coach of Pondicherry Ranji Trophy team and quit due to “interference” from Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP). He was also the batting coach of IPL side Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in 2017 season.