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Mohammad Shahzad back in Afghanistan squad after completing ban

681   //    09 Jan 2018, 16:40 IST

ICC World Twenty20 India 2016:  South Africa v Afghanistan
Though Mohammad Shahzad played for Afghanistan after being held up, his records from those games have now been erased

What's the story?

Suspended Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad has returned to the national team's squad for their upcoming limited-overs series against Zimbabwe which will be played in the UAE. Shahzad has so far played 58 ODIs and T20s each for Afghanistan and is one of their more experienced cricketers.

In case you didn't know..

In December 2017, the ICC confirmed that it had banned 29-year old Shahzad from all cricketing activities for twelve months. The period of the ban lasted from January 17, 2017 until the same day in 2018, as it was on that date that he had provided his urine sample for a test.

Before being charged and provisionally suspended by the ICC in April 2017 – he admitted to his offence in June – Shahzad played 10 ODIs, 7 T20s and a four-day Intercontinental Cup match between January and March. However, his statistics from those matches have now been erased from the record books.

The heart of the matter

A laboratory in the United States, certified by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), had confirmed that Shahzad was found to have consumed Clenbuterol, a banned substance as in 2017.

He had claimed that in October 2016, the Afghanistan team management had asked him to lose eight kilos of weight, for which purpose he took the weight-loss product Hydroxycut, in which was found the illegal substance of Clenbuterol.

What's next?

The limited-overs series between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe begins on February 5, running up to February 19. The contest will comprise two T20s and five ODIs, and all matches will be played in Sharjah. Recently appointed head coach Phil Simmons will mark the beginning of his stint with the matches against Zimbabwe.

Afghanistan squad for Zimbabwe series

T20s: Asghar Stanikzai (c), Aftab Alam, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Usman Ghani, Hamid Hassan, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Sadiq, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Mujeeb Zadran, Najibullah Zadran and Shapoor Zadran

ODIs: Asghar Stanikzai (c), Javed Ahmadi, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Nasir Jamal, Ihsanullah Janat, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Samiullah Shenwari, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Zadran, Najibullah Zadran and Shapoor Zadran. Reserves: Karim Janat, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Afsar Zazai.

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A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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