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Cricket World Cup 2019: Afghanistan squad and fixtures

16/05/2019

Afghanistan enter their second Cricket World Cup as rank outsiders but they have the potential to cause a few upsets.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board have had their decision to change the captain of the ODI group right before a major tournament questioned. Gulbadin Naib will now lead the group, though former skipper Asghar Afghan remains a key member of the middle-order.

Afghanistan won the World Cup Qualifier tournament last year against West Indies, knocked Sri Lanka out of the Asia Cup and tied with India in the same tournament so they have quality and BMT.

There was no Rashid or Mujeeb in 2015 [Afghanistan finished sixth in a seven-team pool] so this time we are aiming for a semifinal berth. With the team composition we have, we can definitely surprise a few teams, Chief selector Dawlat Ahmadzai was quoted as saying by PTI.

Paceman Hamid Hassan will make a comeback in 15-man squad for the tournament, having last played an ODI in 2016.

Hassan has announced that he will quit ODIs after the World Cup.

Probably this is going to be my last World Cup for my country. I may stop playing ODI cricket after this tournament, he said in an interview to the Afghanistan Cricket Board. However, I would continue playing T20 cricket, either for Afghanistan or in the Shpageeza League (domestic T20 league) or the leagues abroad.

As a player who has dedicated all his life to cricket, the decision to quit is always a tough one. However, after a lot of thought, I felt after the injuries and the recovery process I went through, it is time to consider my health seriously.

If I continue playing further ODI cricket, it may harm my knee. However, if I play four-day cricket, it'll help me extend my cricket career, enabling me to participate in T20s for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan have enjoyed a rapid rise in international cricket and some of their players are familiar to global audiences from their exploits in T20 leagues, such as Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi who will front the team's spin attack.

Hazratullah Zazai's explosive 162 against Ireland in a T20I marked him as one to watch on pitches that are expected to be batting friendly.

Afghanistan Cricket World Cup squadSquad: Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Afghanistan Cricket World Cup fixtures1 June v Australia (Bristol)

4 June v Sri Lanka (Cardiff)

8 June v New Zealand (Taunton)

15 June v South Africa (Cardiff)

18 June v England (Manchester)

22 June v India (Southampton)

24 June v Bangladesh (Southampton)

29 June v Pakistan (Leeds)

4 July v West Indies (Leeds)

Tags: AfghanistanCricket World Cup 2019
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/cricket-world-cup-afghanistan-sq...
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