The Afghanistan Cricket Board has announced an 18-member squad for the three-match ODI series against Pakistan, to be played in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26, 2023. The series serves as important preparation for the upcoming Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the highly anticipated 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup in India.
Fast bowlers Mohammad Saleem Safi and Wafadar Momand have retained their places in the squad after their successful ODI series victory in Bangladesh. However, left-arm spinner Zia ur Rahman and uncapped legspinner Izharulhaq Naveed were not included. Noor Ahmad, who impressed during the IPL, has made a comeback, indicating his potential inclusion in the World Cup squad.
The squad also includes two reserve players: left-arm quick bowler Farid Ahmad Malik and left-handed batsman Shahidullah Kamal. ACB chief selector Asadullah Khan emphasized the team’s focus on preparing for the crucial ODI events and mentioned the supervised training in Kabul and the conditioning camp before the Pakistan series.
Asadullah Khan said, “This three-match ODI series against Pakistan provides us with a wonderful opportunity to prepare the team for the forthcoming two events (Asia Cup and World Cup). The preparations for the Pakistan series are progressing well, and the players have recently performed impressively in the Kabul Camp, supervised by ACB’s HPC staff. The team will also undergo a week-long conditioning camp before the Pakistan Series.”
The Afghanistan squad includes Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ikram Alikhil (wicket-keepers), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, and others.