On Monday, February 12, Afghanistan revealed their 16-player team for the three-match Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka. The first game of the Twenty20 International Series (T20I series) will take place on Saturday, February 17, at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla. The second and third games of the series will be held there on February 19 and 21, respectively. Rashid Khan, the team’s regular captain, is still recovering from back surgery; thus, Ibrahim Zadran will continue to guide the team.
To make matters worse for Afghanistan, spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman was left off the squad prior to the ODI series against Sri Lanka due to a sprain to his right phalanx. In addition, a hamstring strain has kept 21-year-old seamer Mohammad Saleem Safi out of the lineup despite the fact that he just made his debut in the third Twenty20 International against India.
Wafadar Momand, a 24-year-old right-arm seamer, has been called up to take Safi’s spot. Notably, Momand has represented Afghanistan in two Test matches and one Twenty20 international. He last competed for his nation in July 2023 against Bangladesh in the second Twenty20 international.
🚨 SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
Here’s the Afghanistan Squad for the T20I leg of the Sri Lanka Tour. The three T20Is are scheduled to be played from February 17 to 21 in Dambulla. 👍
— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) February 12, 2024
Chief selector Ahmad Shah of Afghanistan disclosed that the board intends to test the bench strength of the team prior to the T20 World Cup 2024 in order to draft a roster that includes both senior and youth players.
We can clearly see the 2017 T20 World Cup coming up. Ahman Shah
We intend to assemble a strong team comprised of both youngsters and seniors in anticipation of the 2018 T20 World Cup. In a media statement, Shah stated, “This series, along with the three Twenty20 Internationals against Ireland in March, is a good opportunity for us to test our bench strength and finalize a good squad for the mega event.”
Ibrahim Zadran (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Mohammad Ishaq Rahimi (WK), Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen Ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Wafadar Momand, and Qais Ahmad are the Afghanistan squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.