Afghanistan announced their squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 in India, on Wednesday, September 13. Pacer Naveen ul Haq, who has just played seven ODIs in his career, has returned to the side for the first time since January 2021. Naveen's inclusion has meant that the left-arm seamer Fareed Malik had to be limited to the reserves.
Naveen's inclusion has also gotten the fans excited with a potential contest against former Indian skipper Virat Kohli when the two teams meet in Delhi on October 11. Kohli and Naveen had a heated altercation against each other during the IPL 2023 match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore, which got really ugly.
Since the match is in Delhi, which is Kohli's home ground, if Naveen plays, there could be some heat he would have to face.
Apart from Naveen, the big news is the skipper during the 2019 edition of the World Cup, Gulbadin Naib is limited to the reserves despite being in good form with both bat and ball in the Asia Cup. Karim Janat, who was recalled to the ODI side after six years for Asia Cup was dropped.
Navaeen will form a solid pace attack for Afghanistan alongside Fazalhaq Farooqi and returning Azmatullah Omarzai, who has recovered from his injury. Afghanistan will be hoping to have a better outing in the World Cup after a group stage exit in the Asia Cup as they failed to handle the pressure in crunch moments.
Afghanistan squad for World Cup 2023: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.
Reserves: Gulbadin Naib, Sharafudin Ashraf, Fareed Ahmed Malik