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  5. Afghanistan announce squad for one-off Test against Ireland; Rahmanullah Gurbaz in line for potential debut

Afghanistan announce squad for one-off Test against Ireland; Rahmanullah Gurbaz in line for potential debut

The star wicketkeeper batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz is in line to make his potential Test debut while the star spinner Rashid Khan continues to miss due to a delay in his injury recovery, paving the way for uncapped legspinner Khalil Gurbaz.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: February 26, 2024 20:53 IST
Andrew Balbirnie and Hashmatullah Shahidi
Image Source : AFGHANISTAN CRICKET BOARD Andrew Balbirnie and Hashmatullah Shahidi in Abu Dhabi on February 25, 2024

Afghanistan Cricket Board announced a strong squad for the one-off Test match against Ireland on Monday, February 26. The star wicketkeeper batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz is included in the team for his potential debut in red-ball cricket but the ace spin bowler Rashid Khan continues to miss out due to injury.

Hashmatullah Shahidi-led Afghanistan are set to play their ninth Test match and second against Ireland. Abu Dhabi's Tolerance Oval hosts the five-day match starting on February 28. 

Gurbaz, 22, made his international debut in 2019 and has already made 90 appearances for the national team. He is part of the 16-member squad that also features wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhail who donned the wicketkeeping gloves when both teams last played against each other in 2019 in Dehradun.

The squad also features uncapped Legspinner Khalil Gurbaz who boasts 40 wickets in 10 first-class matches. 

“The team underwent a 10-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi, which featured 22 players and all the support staff to work with the players and ensure full preparation for the series," Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil, ACB’s interim Chief Selector said. " We have thoroughly monitored the proceedings and have picked the squad which includes several new faces who have excelled well during the recent domestic events.”

Afghanistan recorded a big seven-wicket win against Ireland during their last Test encounter where Rahmat Shah scored 98 and 76 to claim the Player of the Match award. Afghanistan last played a Test match against Sri Lanka earlier month where they suffered a huge 10-wicket defeat at Colombo's Sinhalese Sports Club Ground. 

Afghanistan Test squad for Test against Ireland: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah (vc), Ikram Alikhail (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Bahir Shah, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Khalil Gurbaz, Zahir Khan, Zia-Ur-Rehman, Nijat Masood, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai, Naveed Zadran.

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