File photo of Najibullah Zadran.© AFP
Middle-order batter Najibullah Zadran returned to Afghanistan’s 17-man squad on Sunday ahead of the Asia Cup after recovering from a knee injury. The 30-year-old left-hander had to miss the three-match series against Pakistan which Afghanistan lost 3-0 in Colombo on Saturday. The selection committee hoped Najibullah will be ready for the six-nation event starting in Multan from Wednesday. “Najibullah missed the recently concluded Pakistan series due to a knee injury but has been included and is expected to recover from the injury prior to the start of the event,” the Afghanistan Cricket Board said in a statement.
Afghanistan will face Bangladesh in Lahore on September 3 before rounding off the group stage of the Asia Cup with a game against Sri Lanka at the same venue two days later.
Pakistan will host four matches while Sri Lanka will host nine in the Asia Cup.
Allrounder Azmatullah Omarzai has been ruled out of the competition due to a side strain while Gulbadin Naib and Karim Janat have been added to the team.
“Mohammad Saleem Safi and Abdul Rahman, the two fast bowlers, who were part of the squad against Pakistan, have retained their spots in the lineup, but Fareed Ahmad and Wafadar Momand have been left out,” the statement added.
Squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ikram Alikhil, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Abdul Rahman, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem Safi, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Sharafuddin Ashraf (travelling reserve).
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