ACB selection committee announced a 17-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup in press conference held at ACB Headquarters in Kabul today.
Commenting on the squad composition, Chief Selector Nawroz Mangal said that young wicket-keeper batsman Munir Ahmad has been included in the squad after his impressive performance in domestic cricket including Ghazi Amanullah Khan One-Day Cup. He added: “We added Munir as a wicket-keeper batsman because he performed well in other national teams including U19 team, Emerging and Afghanistan A Team.”
Noticeable changes from the squad against Ireland in the recent ODI series include the recall of bowling all-rounder Sharafuddin Ashraf to the squad and exclusion of opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai. Mangal showed confidence that the team would continue to perform well beyond the Asia Cup and in the lead up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World.
Squad: Asghar Afghan (C), Mohammad Shahzad (WK) , Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Munir Ahmad, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Sayed Shirzad and Wafadar.
Responding to a question about fast bowler Dawlat Zadran, Mangal said, “The health reports we have receive about Dawlat Zadran indicate that he still has not fully recovered and he would continue to undergo treatment over the next few weeks. Therefore, he has not been included in the squad.”
Addressing the press conference, Abdul Wali Amin, member of the ACB Selection Committee, said: “Selection of the squad was not an easy task as we witnessed commendable performances from players in different national team setups including Under-19, A and Emerging teams that recently played several matches against each other.”
Asia cup will be played from 15th – 28th September in UAE. Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka form Group B while Pakistan and India will be joined by third team that will be decided after the Asia Cup Qualifiers. It will be Afghanistan’s first Asia Cup after obtaining Full Member status of the International Cricket Council in June 2017.