Afghanistan have included 17-year-old Noor Ahmad and experienced Gulbadin Naib in their 18-member squad for the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka, to begin in Kandy this month. Hashmatullah Shahidi will continue to lead the side, while Rashid Khan is set to lead the spin-heavy bowling attack.
Uncapped left-arm wrist-spinner Noor Ahmad has been selected in Afghanistan’s 18-member squad for their upcoming three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka, to get underway on November 25. Veteran all-rounder Gulbadin Naib has also made the cut, while the rest of the members picked for the series were part of the squad that played against Zimbabwe in June this year.
Noor hasn't yet made his ODI debut but has already built up quite a reputation in various franchise T20 leagues worldwide. His figures of 4 for 10 on his T20I debut are the joint-best debut figures in a T20I involving two Full-Member teams. He was also part of Afghanistan's Asia Cup squad this year.
Although Naib, former Afghanistan’s ODI captain, last played a 50-over game against Bangladesh in February, he came into Afghanistan's T20 World Cup side midway as the injured Hazratullah Zazai’s replacement. The rest of the squad is on expected lines, with Hashmatullah Shahidi leading the side. Mohammad Nabi, who recently stepped down as the T20 captain after a disappointing World Cup campaign, has also been named. Among the bowlers, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman continue to lead the attack.
"The selectors have included some young faces for the series which is a good sign for us leading into the ICC Cricket World Cup next year. The series is vital for us in terms of our qualification for the mega event next year and I am sure the squad carries enough strength to do well when they get to the field," Naseeb Khan, the ACB CEO, said in a statement.
The three-match series, part of the ODI Super League, will begin on November 25. All three games will take place at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.
Afghanistan’s squad for Sri Lanka ODIs: Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Rahmat Shah (vice-capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Fareed Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Gulbadin Naib, Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Riaz Hassan, Shahidullah Kamal, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zia-ur-Rehman