Afghanistan, on Wednesday (September 13), announced their 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. Fast bowlers Naveen-ul-Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai have returned to the ODI squad for the marquee event.
Both the players had recently missed the Asia Cup due to injuries. Naveen-ul-Haq has not played a competitive game since June due to a knee injury. The right-arm pacer has also not played an ODI since January 2021. On the other hand, Omarzai played against Pakistan in the ODI series last month but missed the Asia Cup after copping a side strain.
Afghanistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023:
The Afghanistan World Cup squad has four changes from the squad that recently played in the Asia Cup. One of the biggest exclusions is senior all-rounder Gulbadin Naib. The allrounder, who led Afghanistan in the last edition of the ODI World Cup, has missed out despite doing well in the Asia Cup.
In 4 games, Naib picked up 8 wickets and scored more than 50 runs but failed to make the cut for the tournament. Apart from him, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, and Suliman Safi have also missed out after being named in the squad for the Asia Cup. Janat had returned to the Afghanistan squad after a gap of six years.
Barring the exclusion of Naib, there are not such big surprises in the squad. The likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim, and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi will take care of the batting order. The likes of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Noor Ahmad will take care of the spin department while the pace department features the likes of Naveen, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, and Omarzai.
Afghanistan World Cup squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.
World Cup Bound AfghanAtalan Squad 🚨
Presenting before you the AfghanAtalan squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. 🤩#AfghanAtalan | #CWC23 | #WarzaMaidanGata pic.twitter.com/r0SGg3KV8v
— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) September 13, 2023
Meanwhile, the World Cup will get underway on October 5. Afghanistan, on the other hand, will open its campaign on October 7 against Bangladesh in Dharamsala.
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