Afghanistan Squad For World Cup 2023
Afghanistan Announces Squad for World Cup 2023:
The Afghanistan Cricket Board(ACC) has officially announced their 15-member men’s squad that will represent the nation in the highly anticipated ICC ODI World Cup 2023, set to take place in India. Leading the squad is the experienced Hashmatullah Shahidi, who will be responsible for guiding a team packed with star cricketers. The 2023 World Cup will be Afghanistan’s third consecutive ODI World Cup, as they first appeared in the CWC 2015 held in Australia and New Zealand.
Naveen-ul-Haq returns to the Afghanistan ODI squad after a two-year gap for the World Cup in India. Naveen, who last played a List A game in 2021, also comes back into the squad. He has played only seven ODIs to date, taking 14 wickets at an average of 25.42. Young all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai also returns from an injury that sidelined him from the Asia Cup.
The squad led by Hashmatullah Shahidi features four changes from the group that played at the Asia Cup. Senior all-rounder Gulbadin Naib also misses out despite a good showing in the ongoing Asia Cup. The likes of Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Suliman Safi also miss out aside from Naib. Karim Janat, who was recalled for the Asia Cup after a six-year gap from ODI cricket, was dropped.
Naveen-ul-Haq’s return to the squad:
A significant highlight of the squad announcement is the return of fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq to the ODI outfit. Naveen, known for his pace and skill, was temporarily dropped from the team during the Asia Cup 2023. His comeback is expected to bolster Afghanistan’s bowling attack and add depth to their lineup.
Najeebullah Zadran retains his place:
Amidst discussions about his recent form, Najeebullah Zadran has retained his place in the squad, reaffirming the team’s belief in his abilities. Najibullah Zadran is also the mainstream part of the team in the batting lineup. His inclusion highlights the team’s commitment to nurturing and supporting its talent.
The remaining members of the squad appear quite familiar, especially in the spin department, where a wealth of exceptional talent is available. In addition to the experienced spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, the squad also includes the talents of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad. The experience of Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi will be very valuable for the side as they both performed very well in the bowling and batting departments.
Gulbadin Naib into reserves:
In a strategic move, Afghanistan has included three reserve players in the squad, ensuring they have contingency plans in place. Among the reserves is the veteran Gulbadin Naib, whose experience could prove invaluable in high-pressure situations. The other two reserve players are Sharafudin Ashraf and Farid Ahmad Malik, adding depth to both the batting and bowling departments.
Afghanistan Squad for the ODI World Cup 2023:
Here is the 15-player squad that will surely be impactful for their team performance in the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023 in India:
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.
Reserves: Gulbadin Naib, Sharafudin Ashraf, Farid Ahmad Malik
Strengths and Weaknesses:
The main strength of the Afghan cricket side is their spin bowling, as two mystery spinners, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, will play a vital role in the team’s performance. Their experience of playing in leagues all around the world gave them the edge to deal with pressure situations. The squad comprises some talented players who are capable of performing under pressure. The Hasmatullah-led side has shown tremendous and significant progress, having
clinched some incredible victories in the last few years. It is now considered a force to be reckoned with in the world of cricket.
Afghanistan’s batting lineup is also their other strength. The 21-year-old batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz can play powerful strokes all around the ground, giving the Afghan side a furious and confidential start at the top of the order. The ability of Hasmatullah Shahidi to anchor the innings also plays a crucial role in their batting lineup. The little cameos at the lateral stage of the innings by all-rounders like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi could be exciting and breathtaking for the fans. However, fielding is the primary concern for the Afghan side, where they struggle the most. The lack of pressure handling in crucial matches is also the team’s main weakness.
Deadline to Make Further Changes in the Squad:
While the deadline to submit the World Cup squad to the ICC is September 5, teams can make changes until September 28 without needing approval from the ICC. Afghanistan will begin their World Cup campaign on October 7 against Bangladesh in Dharamsala. They have two warm-up fixtures before that, against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram on September 29 and then against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on October 3.
The Afghanistan squad looks very formidable for the upcoming cricket World Cup. With a strong squad consisting of experienced veterans and promising young talent, they are ready to make a significant mark on the international stage. The team’s consistent performances in recent times make them a strong contender for the title. Many former cricketers predict Afghanistan as the dark horse in the World Cup 2023. It will be exciting to see how they perform in the 2023 ICC CWC, as the conditions are favourable for them.