ACB announces squad for Test match against Ireland

The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s National Selection Committee has named the squad for Afghanistan’s one-off test match against Ireland, scheduled from Feb. 28 to March 3 at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz is a potential debutant for Afghanistan in the match. The squad also includes right-arm leg-spinner Khalil Gurbaz, who has taken 40 wickets in 17 innings, with a best of 6/125.

Fast bowler Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai returns to the squad after participating in the Bangladesh tour last June. Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Saleem Safi, part of the squad for the Sri Lanka test earlier this month, are absent due to injuries.

ACB CEO Naseeb Khan noted the longstanding cricket rivalry between Afghanistan and Ireland. “This will be our second test against Ireland. We also have tests against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe later this year,” Khan said.

Interim Chief Selector Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil said, “We had a 10-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi with 22 players. We’ve picked a squad that includes several new faces who performed well in recent domestic events.”

Afghanistan’s squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Rahmat Shah (vice-captain), Ikram Alikhail (wicketkeeper), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Khalil Gurbaz, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Nijat Masoud, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai, and Naveed Zadran.

This match marks Afghanistan’s ninth test and second against Ireland. The team will play five more tests this year, including a two-test home series against Bangladesh and a one-off home test against New Zealand. Afghanistan has previously won three tests each against Ireland, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe.