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Rashid Khan misses out as Afghanistan announce squad for ODI series against Sri Lanka

The star spinner Rashid Khan hasn't played any competitive cricket due to a back injury since the conclusion of the ICC World Cup 2023 in November but was reportedly expected to make his return in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting on February 9.

Sumeet Kavthale Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: February 04, 2024 23:03 IST
Rashid Khan
Image Source : GETTY Rashid Khan during the ICC World Cup 2023 game against England on October 15, 2023

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced a strong squad for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka on Sunday, February 4. The star bowler Rashid Khan remains out as he fails to recover from his back surgery but this is a return for the all-rounder Gulbadin Naib in the 15-member squad.

Rashid hasn't played any competitive cricket since his back surgery after the conclusion of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. However, he was named in the T20I squad for the India series last month but was later removed. Rashid was reportedly tipped to make his return to action during the upcoming white-ball series against Sri Lanka but the player remains unavailable.

Qais Ahmad, the 23-year-old legspinner, is part of the team having made his only ODI appearance two years ago. The experienced pace all-rounder Naib is also making his return to ODIs after four months having last played in the Asia Cup 2023. 

Meanwhile, there is a maiden call for the 18-year-old pacer Naveed Zadran. The right-arm pacer took four wickets on his Test debut in the ongoing Test match against Afghanistan in Colombo and is now favourite to replace retired pacer Naveen-ul-Haq. 

"We have consistently striven to secure more bilateral cricket matches and create a busy schedule for our national teams," ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said. "This marks our third visit to Sri Lanka in the past 16 months, which is a promising sign moving forward. The selectors have selected a strong line-up and we eagerly anticipate an exciting series ahead."

Afghanistan ODI Squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah (vc), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran, Farid Ahmad.

Reserves: Sharafuddin Ashraf, Shahidullah, Abdul Rahman, Bilal Sami.

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium will host all three ODIs starting on February 9 and then both teams will conclude the series with three T20Is at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. 

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