Srinagar: Top five stars missed out while as upcoming talent was included as Afghanistan announced its squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, which begins in Australia on 16 October.
Mohammad Nabi, who led Afghanistan in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022, takes up the captaincy reins again.
Samiullah Shinwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat and Noor Ahmad, all of whom were a part of the Asia Cup squad, miss out.
Meanwhile, middle-order batter Darwish Rasooli, all-rounder Qais Ahmad and the right-arm quick Salim Safi have been added to the list.
22-year-old Rasooli, who made his international debut earlier this year, makes the cut after recovering from a finger injury and churning out impressive performances in the Shpageeza Cricket League 2022.
Qais Ahmed returns to the squad, last having played a T20I in March 2022 against Bangladesh, while 20-year-old Safi has secured his maiden international call-up.
Afsar Zazai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rahmat Shah, and Gulbadin Naib have been named as travelling reserves, while the rest of the squad is made up of familiar names.
“The Asia Cup was a very good opportunity for the team to buildup things nicely for the much-important global event in Australia,” Chief selector Noor Malikzai said.
“Fortunately, Darwish Rasooli has recovered from injury (broken finger) and we are happy to have him available for the WT20, he has demonstrated good glimpses of him in the previously held Shpageeza Cricket League 2022 and offers an additional batting option to our middle order.
“Since the Australian conditions offer further support for the fast bowlers, so we have added Salim Safi, the tall right-arm quick to add further impetus to our bowling department. Overall we have picked our best available players for the event and we are hopeful of them to do well and better represent the country in the mega event.”
Afghanistan belong to Group 1 in the T20 World Cup and begin their campaign on 22 October against England in Perth. They had a lukewarm campaign last season, having finished fourth in Group 2 with two wins in five matches.
T20 World Cup Squad: Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran (vc), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Qais Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Salim Safi, Usman Ghani
Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib
22 October – Afghanistan v England, Perth
26 October – Afghanistan v New Zealand, Melbourne
28 October – Afghanistan v TBA, Melbourne
01 November – Afghanistan v TBA, Brisbane
04 November – Afghanistan v Australia, Adelaide