The Afghanistan Cricket Board's (ACB) selection committee has announced a 15-member squad that will feature at the upcoming men's cricket event in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. The team will be led by the experienced allrounder Gulbadin Naib who has previously led Afghanistan at the senior-most level in international cricket and had the honour of leading the team during the 2019 World Cup.
The chief selector of the ACB Asadullah Khan mentioned that the board and selection committee are trying to present the players with as many opportunities as possible to prove their mettle and the upcoming event is a part of the country's preparation for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 to be jointly hosted by the West Indies and the USA.
“We are aiming to provide these players with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their abilities on the international stage. This Asia Games event is also a good opportunity for them to do well and further groove for the higher level cricket. Our buildup has already been started for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and we are working to prepare a strong group of players for that event,” Asadullah said in an ACB press release.
Apart from Gulbadin who has already played 79 ODIs and 57 T20Is for Afghanistan, there are other players like Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan, and Karim Jannat among others who have had a taste of international cricket.
Afghanistan Squad for the Asian Games men's cricket event:
Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad (VC & WK), Sediqullah Atal, Zubdaid Akbari, Noor Ali Zadran, Shahidullah Kamal, Afsar Zazai, Wafiullah Tarakhil, Karim Jannat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Nijat Masoud, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Qais Ahmad and Zahir Khan
Reserves: Nangyal Kharoti, Mohammad Ibrahim and Allah Noor Nasiri
Asian Games men’s cricket schedule:
October 3 – 4: Quarter Finals
October 6: Semi-Finals?
October 7: Final