Rashid Khan will miss Afghanistan's first-ever Test against Sri Lanka next month, as he continues to recover from his back surgery. The 25-year-old is Afghanistan's highest Test wicket-taker -- with 34 in five matches -- and has been an integral part of the team in all formats of the game.
The selectors said Rashid is being cautiously monitored. "Rashid Khan continues to recover from the back surgery and is set to miss the one-off Test against Sri Lanka," the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said in a statement.
The one-off Test will be played in Colombo from February 2-6.
Qais Ahmad has been included in the squad as Rashid's replacement. Hashmatullah Shahidi will lead the squad, which also has four uncapped players - batter Noor Ali Zadran, left-arm spinner Zia-ur-Rehman, wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Ishaq and right-arm seamer Naveed Zadran.
Afghanistan will also play three One-Day Internationals and as many T20Is on the tour, for which squads will be announced later.
Since being granted Test status in 2018, Afghanistan have played seven Tests, winning three and losing the other four. "The year 2024 is packed with Test cricket for us, a sign of progression," said ACB chairman Mirwais Ashraf.
Squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah, Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Ishaq, Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Bahir Shah, Nasir Jamal, Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan, Zia-ur-Rehman Akbar, Yamin Ahmadzai, Nijat Masood, Mohammad Saleem Safi, Naveed Zadran.