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Afghanistan announce squad for Sri Lanka ODIs; include Naib, Noor

Afghanistan on Saturday announced their 18-member squad for three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against Sri Lanka, which will be played from November 25th to 30 in Kandy.

All-rounder Gulbadin Naib and the left-arm wrist-spinner Noor Ahmad have been added to the squad, who were not part of Afghanistan’s last ODI series, against Zimbabwe in early June when they blanked the hosts 3-0.

The 18-year-old Noor hasn’t yet made his ODI debut but has already built up quite a reputation in various T20 leagues around the world. He returned figures of 4 for 10 on his T20I debut — joint-best debut figures in a T20I involving two Full-Member teams — and was more recently part of Afghanistan’s 2022 Asia Cup squad.

The youngster did not make the cut for the T20 World Cup in Australia but has been with the squad on a regular basis, despite not always getting the game time.

As expected Hashmatullah Shahidi is leading the team and he will form the fulcrum of the top order alongside Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Rahmat Shah.

Mohammad Nabi, who recently stepped down as the T20 captain after a disappointing World Cup campaign in Australia where Afghanistan failed to win a single game, has also been included. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are the prominent names in the bowling unit.

“The selectors have included some young faces for the series which is a good sign for us leading into the ICC Cricket World Cup next year. The series is vital for us in terms of our qualification for the mega event next year and I am sure the squad carries enough strength to do well when they get to the field,” Naseeb Khan, the ACB CEO, said.

Afghanistan squad:

Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Rahmat Shah (VC), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Azmatullah Omarzai, Farid Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Gulbadain Naib, Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Alikhail (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Nabi, Mujib ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Riaz Hassan, Shahidullah Kamal, Yamin Ahmadzai and Zia ur Rahman Akbar.

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