The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) Selection Committee announced an 18-member national squad for the three-match T20I series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), starting on Friday, Dec. 29, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE.
Regular T20I captain Rashid Khan will miss the series as he recovers from recent back surgery. Top-order batter Ibrahim Zadran has been named as the stand-in captain for the series, according to ACB statement.
Fast bowlers Fazal Haq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq, who faced sanctions for intending to opt out of their annual central contracts, have been added to the squad. Both players have expressed a strong desire to represent Afghanistan again and have requested a review of the disciplinary measures.
In response, the ACB commended their commitment and directed the relevant committee to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, with findings to be reported back to the board.
Previously, the ACB had indicated it would reassess the involvement of these players in future events. Following this review, Farooqi and Ul Haq have been included in the UAE series squad.
The Afghanistan squad for the T20I series against the UAE includes:
Ibrahim Zadran (captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Ishaq (wicketkeeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Sediqullah Atal, Rahmat Shah, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Azmaullah Omarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen Ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem, and Qais Ahmad. Rashid Khan, Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai, Ikram Alikhil, and Gulbadin Naib are reserves.
The series is scheduled from Dec. 29, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.