CWC 2019: Afghanistan announce 15-man World Cup squad with new captain
What’s the story?
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup, scheduled to start on May 30 in England and Wales.
The side will be led by all-rounder Gulbadin Naib who has taken the reins despite criticism from senior players.
Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi had earlier raised objections following the removal of Asghar Afghan as ODI captain less than two months before the World Cup.
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The ICC had previously earmarked 22nd April as the deadline for announcing the 15-member squad for the upcoming 50-over World Cup.
Afghanistan's final squad has been selected from the 23-member probables that took part in a training camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
The heart of the matter
Just a few days ago, Asghar Afghan was sacked as the captain from all three formats. While Naib was named as the new skipper of the ODI team, Rashid Khan and Rahmat Shah were selected as the new T20I and Test captains respectively. Afghan, however, remains a part of the squad.
The selectors have also shown faith in Hamid Hassan, who last played an ODI for the nation in June 2016.
"As chief selector, it is my duty to select a competitive team," Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said. "However, there were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions.”
"Luckily for us, the come-back of senior fast bowler Hamid Hassan is good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches."
Four players that played against Ireland recently have been omitted from the World Cup squad, including left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan, left-arm fast bowlers Shapoor Zadran and Fareed Ahmad, and top-order batsman Javed Ahmadi.
Here is the final 15-member squad: Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad (WK), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
The Afghans will play their opening match of the World Cup against the mighty Australians at the County Ground in Bristol on Saturday, June 1.