Afghanistan sets squad for Test match against Sri Lanka

The Afghanistan Cricket Board on Monday announced its squad for the one-off test match against Sri Lanka, taking place Feb. 2-6 at the Sinhalese Sports Club Cricket Ground in Colombo.

Rashid Khan, recovering from back surgery, will miss the match. Leg-spinner Qais Ahmad replaces him. Noor Ali Zadran, following strong domestic showings, also joins the team.

Naveed Zadran, a right-arm fast bowler, and Mohammad Ishaq, a wicketkeeper-batter, are set for their senior test team debuts after impressive performances in domestic and international tours.

ACB Chairman Mirwais Ashraf looks forward to the match, emphasizing 2024 as a key year for test cricket. He aims to bolster Afghanistan’s test capabilities to match its limited-overs success.

Interim Chief Selector Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil highlighted the squad’s comprehensive preparation in Nangarhar and Abu Dhabi. The selection includes several standout domestic players.

The Afghanistan squad features Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Rahmat Shah (vice-captain), Ikram Alikhail, Mohammad Ishaq, Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Yamin Ahmadzai, Nijat Masoud, Mohammad Saleem Safi, and Naveed Zadran.

This game marks Afghanistan’s eighth test and first against Sri Lanka. The team has three test wins against Ireland, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe. The year includes six more tests, featuring series against Bangladesh and New Zealand.