Afghanistan announced a 16-member squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka on Monday, February 12. The T20I series will start from Saturday, February 17 at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla while the second and third games will be played on February 19 and 21 respectively at the same venue. Ibrahim Zadran will continue to lead the side in the absence of regular skipper Rashid Khan who continues to recover from back surgery.

Adding to Afghanistan’s woes, spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman also missed out on the squad after sustaining a sprain in his right phalanx (hand) ahead of the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka. Furthermore, 21-year-old seamer Mohammad Saleem Safi, who recently made his debut in the third T20I against India, has been left out of the squad due to a hamstring strain.

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24-year-old right-arm seamer Wafadar Momand has been called up as Safi’s replacement. Notably, Momand has played two Tests and one T20I for Afghanistan and last played for his country in July 2023 during the second T20I against Bangladesh.

Afghanistan chief selector Ahmad Shah revealed that the board wants to prepare a squad mix of both senior and junior players and hence wants to test their bench strength ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024.

We have a close sight on the upcoming T20 World Cup: Ahman Shah

“We have a close sight on the upcoming T20 World Cup for which we want to prepare a very good mix of players consisting of both juniors and seniors. This series alongside the three T20Is against Ireland in March is a good opportunity for us to test our bench strength and finalize a good squad for the mega event,” said Shah in a media release.

Also Read: High-flying Sri Lanka name squad for Afghanistan T20Is

Afghanistan Squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka: Ibrahim Zadran (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Mohammad Ishaq Rahimi (WK), Hazratullah Zazai,  Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen Ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Wafadar Momand and Qais Ahmad.

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