Afghanistan has announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, omitting Rahmat Shah and Ikram Alikhil. T20I captain Rashid Khan remains sidelined due to back surgery, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman is ruled out with a hand injury sustained before the ODI series. Additionally, Mohammad Saleem’s ongoing hamstring injury has led to his exclusion. The squad features changes from the T20I series against India, with the inclusion of wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Ishaq and the recall of fast bowler Wafadar Momand.
Rashid Khan’s absence extends, as he continues rehabilitation from back surgery, missing competitive cricket since the ODI World Cup. He withdrew from the BBL and PSL, opting out of the series against India. In his stead, Ibrahim Zadran leads the T20I side, maintaining the captaincy he assumed against India and UAE. The batting order comprises Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, and Azmatullah Omarzai.
Fazalhaq Farooqi will spearhead the fast-bowling attack alongside Naveen-ul-Haq, Fareed Ahmad, and Momand. The spin-bowling unit features Noor Ahmad, Qais Ahmad, and Sharafuddin Ashraf. Afghanistan seeks a turnaround after a challenging series in Sri Lanka, losing the only Test and trailing 0-2 in the three-match ODI series.
The T20I series kicks off on February 17, followed by matches on February 19 and 21, all taking place in Dambulla. Afghanistan aims to regroup and showcase their prowess in the shortest format, eyeing a positive outcome against Sri Lanka.
The team dynamics evolve with new faces and strategic changes, creating anticipation for a spirited performance in the upcoming T20I series. The absence of key players poses challenges, but the squad’s depth and emerging talents provide an opportunity for Afghanistan to make a strong statement on the international stage. Afghanistan’s cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the team’s resilience and determination in the upcoming T20Is against Sri Lanka.
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