back icon


Najibullah Zadran returns to Afghanistan squad for Asia Cup 2023

Last updated on 27 Aug 2023 | 12:01 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
Najibullah Zadran returns to Afghanistan squad for Asia Cup 2023

However, Azmatullah Omarzai, the fast-bowling all-rounder will miss the entire tournament due to a side strain

Najibullah Zadran returns to Afghanistan for the Asia Cup 2023, but Azmatullah Omarzai has been ruled out of the competition due to a side strain, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced on Sunday (August 27). Omarzai retired hurt during the first One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan and, as a result, did not feature in the remaining two matches either. 

On the other hand, Najibullah missed the series against Pakistan due to a knee injury and is expected to be fit for Afghanistan's Asia Cup opener against Bangladesh at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, on September 3. His inclusion will certainly add firepower and experience to Afghanistan's middle-order. He is Afghanistan's fifth-highest run-getter in ODIs, having accumulated 2,013 runs at 30.04, which includes 15 fifties and a century.

Shahidullah Kamal, who had replaced Zadran in the series, has been left out of the squad, while Karim Janat could be in line to play his first ODI in six years.

Fast bowlers Fareed Ahmad and Wafadar Momand do not find a place in the 17-member squad, but Mohammad Saleem Saifi and Abdul Rahman, who were part of the recently concluded series, managed to retain their place. The inclusion of Gulbadin Naib and Karim Janat further adds to Afghanistan's all-rounder stock, while Sharafuddin Ashraf, the left-arm spinner who last played for his country in August last year, further adds to the depth in the spin bowling department.

Pakistan whitewashed Afghanistan in the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka ahead of the six-team event. However, there were a couple of positives for the side in the series, the biggest being Rahmanullah Gurbaz's brilliant 151 in the second game in Hambantota. Mujeeb Ur Rahman finished the series with five scalps, and in the final game, he got to his fifty off just 26 deliveries, the fastest for Afghanistan in ODIs.

Afghanistan Squad for Asia Cup 2023: Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ikram Alikhil (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Abdul Rahman, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem Safi and Fazal Haq Farooqi.

Related Article