Ahead of the T20I series against Sri Lanka the Afghanistan Cricket Board has announced their 16-member squad starting from February 17, 2024. Afghanistan would be led by young opener Ibrahim Zadran whereas the team consists of Rahmaullah Gurbaz and Mohammad Ishaq Rahimi as the two-wicket keepers. Rashid Khan, who is the regular T20I captain will once again miss out from the series as he continues to recover from his back injury.
Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be missing out on the series after he injured his right hand during the practice session ahead of the second ODI match. Mohammad Saleem also will be missing out from the series due to his hamstring injury, Wafadar Momand has been named as his replacement.
Afghanistan’s men’s cricket team chief selector Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil while announcing the squad of the T20I series against Sri Lanka stated that the board is currently working on building a core team for the T20 World Cup 2024. He further stated that the squad consists of a mixture of junior and senior players and added that the series along with the Ireland tour is a good chance for the team to test its bench strength.
He said, “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.”
Afghanistan showcased a brilliant performance during the last T20I series they played against India in January 2023. However, the Afghani team lost the series by 3-0 but gave tough competition to India in all three games. The final T20I match which was played in Bengaluru, Afghanistan pushed the match to two super overs and made India do a lot of hard work to win the match.
Afghanistan have not had a decent outing on the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka. Afghanistan have not won a single game on the Sri Lankan tour and suffered a ten-wicket loss in the only Test match. Afghanistan displayed a flop batting and bowling show in the first two ODIs and lost both games single-handedly.
Afghanistan have showcased brilliant development in international cricket, in the last ten to fifteen years. The Afghani team consists of the likes of great players such as Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-Ul-Haq, Gulbadin Naib, and Mohammad Nabi, who have shined at the international level and also have made the country proud.
There is also a huge demand for the Afghanistan players in the various T20 leagues that take place all round the world. The Afghani team impressed with their performance in the ODI World Cup 2023 and were almost on the verge of qualifying for the knockouts of the tournament. They also defeated big teams such as Pakistan and England.
Afghanistan’s squad for T20Is 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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