Ahead of the T20I series against Sri Lanka, the Afghanistan Cricket Board has announced its 16-member squad starting February 17, 2024. Afghanistan would be led by young opener Ibrahim Zadran, while the team consists of Rahmaullah Gurbaz and Mohammad Ishaq Rahimi as the two. goalkeepers. Rashid Khan, who is the regular T20I captain, will once again miss the series as he continues to recover from his back injury.
Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman will miss the series after injuring his right hand during the practice session ahead of the second ODI match. Mohammad Saleem will also miss the series due to his hamstring injury, Wafadar Momand has been named as his replacement.
Afghanistan Men’s Cricket Team Chief Selector Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil while announcing the squad for 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 team is made up of a mix of junior and senior players and added that the series along with the tour of Ireland is a good opportunity for the team to test its strength on the bench.
He said, “We have our sights set on the next T20 World Cup, for which we want to prepare a very good combination of players, both youth and senior. “This series along with the three T20Is against Ireland in March is a good opportunity for us to test our bench strength and finalize a good team for the mega event.”
Afghanistan showed a brilliant performance during the last T20I series they played against India in January 2023. However, the Afghan team lost the series 3-0 but gave tough competition to India in all three games. The last T20I match which was played in Bengaluru, Afghanistan took the match to two super overs and made India work hard to win the match.
Afghanistan I haven’t had a decent outing on the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka. Afghanistan have not won a single game on the Sri Lanka tour and suffered a ten-wicket defeat in the only Test match. Afghanistan showed failure in batting and bowling in the first two ODIs and lost both games single-handedly.
Afghanistan has shown brilliant development in international cricket in the last ten to fifteen years. The Afghan team consists of great players like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-Ul-Haq, Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi, who have shone at the international level and have also made the country proud.
There is also a huge demand for Afghan players in the various T20 leagues held around the world. The Afghan team impressed with its performance in the 2023 ODI World Cup and almost qualified for the round of 16 of the tournament. They also defeated big teams like Pakistan and England.
Afghanistan squad for T20I 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.