Karim Jannat, Najibullah Zadran and Sharafuddin Ashraf return to the Afghanistan squad
Kabul, August 27: Karim Jannat, Najibullah Zadran and Sharafuddin Ashraf are back in Afghanistan’s 17-man squad for the Asian Cup, which will take place from 30 August to 17 September in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Gannat played his only ODI for Afghanistan in February 2017 against Zimbabwe and has not appeared in this format since. But Jannat has featured in T20Is, including scoring a hat-trick against Bangladesh, and also made his Test debut this year.
Ashraf, who has not played ODIs since January 2022, also returns to the squad as a reserve player. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said in its statement that Najibullah, who missed the recently concluded ODI series against Pakistan due to a knee injury, has been included in the squad and is expected to recover from the injury before the start of the event.
Fast bowlers Mohammad Salim Safi and Abdul Rahman, who were part of the recent ODI series on Afghanistan soil against Pakistan, retain their spots in the line-up, but Fareed Ahmed and Vadar Momand are left out of the squad.
Integral bowler Azmatullah Omarzai was ruled out of the competition due to a side strain, which also resulted in him missing the third ODI. Gulbuddin Nabeeb retains his place in the team while Shahidullah Kamal was excluded from the team led by Heshmatullah Shahidi.
Afghanistan are in Group B of the Asian Cup and will start their campaign against Bangladesh on September 3 in Lahore and will play their second group match against Sri Lanka at the same venue on September 5.
The top two teams from Groups A and B will qualify for the AFC Super Four Cup, where they will play three more matches at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium, which will also host the final on September 17.
Afghanistan squad: Rahmanullah Gorbaz (week), Ibrahim Zadran, Riyad Hassan, Rahma Shah, Heshmatullah Shahidi (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Muhammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhel (week), Rashid Khan, Gulbuddin Nayeb, Karim Jannat, Abdul Rahman Sharafuddin Ashraf. Mujeeb Rahman, Noor Ahmed, Muhammad Salim and Fazlul Haq Farooqi
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