Afghanistan announces 15-man squad for 2018 World Cup Qualifier
The Afghan side seem to be the favorites in the qualifiers.
Updated - Feb 5, 2018 4:20 pm
The 2018 World Cup qualifier is all set to begin in weeks time in Zimbabwe to decide the final qualification for the much-anticipated 2019 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in England and Wales. The top two teams from this tournament will be joining the hosts and seven other nations who have already qualified through their rankings in the ICC ODI Championship.
Earlier in the year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had announced the fixtures and venue of the tournament. Also, only matches between Afghanistan, Ireland, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, the West Indies and Zimbabwe will be recorded as ODIs. Seeing the gravity of the tournament, the participating teams are looking to put the best foot forward and play to their strengths.
The only Asian participating in the qualifier Afghanistan has announced their squad. Asghar Stanikzai will be leading the Afghan squad throughout the tournament. The likes of Mohammad Shahzad, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shapoor Zadran and Mujeeb Zadran have also been included the 15-man squad. Afghanistan’s team has been placed in Group B along with Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong World Cricket League Division 2 winners.
Afghanistan’s team has been playing some good cricket from last year and a half and will look to continue their good stint against Tier 2 cricketing nations. The likes of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have been playing cricket in all parts of the world by featuring in franchise-based T20 tournament. Their experience will be vital for men-in-blue if they wish to top the group. Before going to the tournament, Afghanistan will face West Indies in their first of two warm-up matches.
Here’s the squad
Asghar Stanikzai (Captain), Mohammad Shahzad (Wicket-Keeper), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Samiullah Shinwari, Nasir Jamal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran Shapoor Zadran.
Noor Ali Zadran, Aftab Alam, Karim Janat, Afsar Zazai.