The Afghanistan cricket team, which recently saw senior players come out say they were unhappy with the changes in leadership, will be led by Gulbadin Naib instead of Asghar Afghan at the World Cup.
The selection committee picked the side from a pool of 23 players who had been in a training camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa, based on their performances and fitness in the last six months.
“It is has been a six-month preparation process for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The mission is to play inspirational cricket in the tournament. I know there are strong teams but we will do our level best to achieve our goals,” chief selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said.
“As chief selector, it is my duty to select a competitive team. However, there were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions.
“We hope to play great cricket without any fear and with a fighting spirit in the tournament,” he added.
There are no real surprises in the squad picked for the showpiece tournament with the likes of Mohammad Shahzad, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran and Mujeeb Ur Rahman all making the list.
The only surprise inclusion in the side was of the veteran paceman Hamid Hassan’s.
“Luckily for us, the comeback of senior fast bowler Hamid Hassan is good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches,” Ahmadzai said about the veteran Hassan’s comeback.
Afghanistan Cricket Board Selection Committee announced Afghanistan’s squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Find out more: https://t.co/3FecMDpRcB#AfghanAtalan #CWC2019 #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/xCSFmXGLJV
— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) April 22, 2019
Hassan, who has played 32 ODIs and has taken 56 wickets, last played an ODI for Afghanistan in 2016 against Ireland and ended up with two wickets.
The likes of Ikram Alikhil, Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad have also been kept in the scheme of things as reserve players for the tournament.
Ahmadzai also said that the reserve players were added due to the format of the World Cup, a league format, where every team will play nine matches.
“The final decision has been made based on many facts and considerations,” the chief selector concluded.
The ICC allows teams to change their squad without needing permission until May 23, after which teams will need permissions from the governing body.
Afghanistan recently played a five-match ODI series against Ireland in Dehradun and shared the spoils 2-2 after rain washed out the second game.
Afghanistan will begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 1 in Bristol.
Squad: Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Reserve Players: Ikram Alikhil, Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad.
2019 world cupafghanistan squadAsghar AfghanGulbadin NaibHamid Hassanicc world cup 2019Mohammad NabiRashid Khan
First Published: April 22, 2019, 11:33 AM IST