Afghanistan Announces Squad for India T20I Series Featuring the Return of Mujeeb Ur Rahman


In a surprising turn of events, Afghanistan’s 22-year-old mystery spinner, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, is set to make a comeback to the national squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series in India. Mujeeb’s exclusion from the team in the UAE raised eyebrows, especially after his NOC was revoked, cutting short his stint with the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL.

NOC Controversy and Squad Changes

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) sanctioned Mujeeb, along with seamers Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq, after they expressed reluctance to sign central contracts for 2024. The trio was deemed “non-eligible” for NOCs for the next two years, resulting in the revocation of any current NOCs. However, Farooqi and Naveen have since resolved issues with the board, demonstrating a strong desire to represent their country, and featured in the recent T20I series against the UAE.

Mujeeb, known for his spin prowess, will join a formidable spin attack alongside Rashid Khan, Qais Ahmad, and Noor Ahmad. However, Rashid, the designated T20I captain, is unlikely to play due to ongoing recovery from back surgery. Ibrahim Zadran, who led Afghanistan to a 2-1 series win over the UAE, will captain the side in India. Rahmat Shah retains his place in the squad, while Alikhil and Gulbadin Naib are promoted from the reserves.

India Tour and T20 World Cup Preparation

Mirwais Ashraf, the ACB chairman, expressed delight in embarking on their maiden tour to India for the three-match T20I series. He acknowledged India as the top-ranked side globally and anticipates a highly competitive series. This marks Afghanistan’s first bilateral T20I series against India, with matches scheduled for January 11 in Mohali, January 14 in Indore, and January 17 in Bangalore.

This series holds significance for both teams as it serves as the last T20I series before the T20 World Cup kicks off in the West Indies and the USA in June 2024.

“We believe that AfghanAtalan are no longer underdogs and have excelled well in the recent past,” stated Mirwais Ashraf. The inclusion of Mujeeb Ur Rahman adds an extra dimension to Afghanistan’s bowling prowess, setting the stage for an exciting showdown against the top-ranked Indian side.

Afghanistan Squad for India Tour:

Ibrahim Zadran (captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Azmaullah Omarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem, Qais Ahmad, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan.

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