Afghanistan squad for one-off Test against Sri Lanka announced


The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced the 16-member squad for the one-off Test match against Sri Lanka, which is all set to be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club Cricket Ground in Colombo from February 2.

The team will be led by Hashmatullah Shahidi, whereas Ikram Alikhil has been named as the vice-captain of the side. Plenty of new names have been included in the team whereas Rashid Khan, will miss the match as he continues to rehab from his back injury.

Naveen Zadran and Mohammad Ishaq have earned a maiden call-up into the side. Naveen, who is a right-arm pacer, and Ishaq, a wicket-keeper batsman performed well in the Ahmad Shah Abdali First Class and the recently held Ghazi Amanullah Khan Regional List A Tournament. These two players also impressed with their performance during the AfghanAbdalyan’s Tour of Oman held in October last year.

This will be Afghanistan‘s eighth Test match overall and also the first against Sri Lanka. The team will be playing six more Test matches this year which follows a two-match home Test series against Bangladesh and a one-off Test against New Zealand. Afghanistan have won five out of their seven Test matches, so far and played their first Test match against India in 2018.

Afghanistan interim chief selector Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil while speaking in the press conference stated that the Afghanistan players went through a two-week preparation camp in Nangarhar followed by a ten-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi. The interim chief selector further added that the management monitored all the camps which included plenty of new faces who performed well in domestic cricket.

He said, “The team underwent a two-week preparation camp in Nangarhar followed by a 10-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi, which featured all the support staff to work with the players and ensure full preparation for the series. We have thoroughly monitored the camps and have picked the squad which includes several new faces who have excelled well during the recent domestic events.”

Afghanistan has been one of the fastest-growing cricketing sides in the world. The Afghani team had a decent campaign in the ODI World Cup 2023 and finished in the sixth spot with four wins from nine games. Afghanistan defeated big teams such as Pakistan and England and were also on the verge of defeating Australia.

In the recently concluded three-match T20I series against India, Afghanistan showcased brilliant performance in all three games and were also close to winning the third game in Bengaluru. Players such as Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and many more play in various T20 leagues all over the world and are one of the most demanding players.

Afghanistan will also play a three-match ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka after the one-off Test match in Colombo. The series will start on February 7 and February 17 respectively.

Afghanistan’s squad for the one off Test against Sri Lanka

Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Rahmat Shah (VC), Ikram Alikhail (WK), Mohammad Ishaq (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Yamin Ahmadzai, Nijat Masoud, Mohammad Saleem Safi and Naveed Zadran.

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