Uncapped fast bowler, Wafadar Momand has been named in Afghanistan 16-member squad for the two-match T20I series against Bangladesh. ACB has also included veteran wicket-keeper batter, Mohammad Shahzad & opening batter Hazratullah Zazai in the squad.
Coming to the recent inclusions, Chief Selector Asadullah Khan said Mohammad Shahzad has been named to the 15-member squad on the back of his gleaming performances in the domestic format. He last played a T20I against New Zealand in 2021 & has been included in the squad on the back of powerpack performances. He further said that the selection panel wants to give all players a fair chance to prove their skills before they finalize their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2023 which is slated to be played in the USA & West Indies in 2024.
“We brought Shahzad as we feel that we should have an attacking batter as a backup for the opening slot because anything can happen in cricket. He is currently the best option and he also performed very well in the domestic tournament. He shows that he is ready for T20Is and we are starting the process now for the next T20 World Cup and we will see the players in typical roles and later we will decide,” Asadullah was quoted as saying by media.
He further said that Momand has been selected due to his good pace which he showed in camps & domestic cricket. “We brought Momand because he has a very good pace and showed that in camps and domestic cricket. As I said before, we are looking at the players so that we can decide regarding the final squad for the World Cup,” he added.
Some players who played in Pakistan Series have been excluded from the Squad
Afsar Zazai, Sharafadullah Ashraf, Usman Ghani & former National Captain Gubaidin Naib who featured in the Pakistan series have failed to retain their place in the T20I series against Bangladesh.
“It’s not like that (Naib’s time is over due to age). As I said, we are in the process to have a look at different players through the matches so we will be able to select a squad for the future,” Asadullah further added.
Afghanistan will begin its Bangladesh tour on July 5 with a three-match ODI series slated to be played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram. After the end of the ODI series on July 11, the two teams will shift to Sylhet for the two-match T20I series starting on July 14 at Sylhet District Stadium. The second match of the series will be played on July 16 at the same venue.
Afghanistan Squad for T20I series vs Bangladesh:
Rashid Khan (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Shehzad, Wafadar Momand, Hazratullah Zazai, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fareed Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq