Gulbadin misses out as Afghanistan name WC squad
Afghanistan have named a strong 15-member squad for the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup next month.
Naveen-ul-Haq returns to the Afghanistan ODI squad after a two-year gap for the World Cup in India while senior all-rounder Gulbadin Naib misses out despite a good showing in the ongoing Asia Cup.
The squad led by Hashmatullah Shahidi features four changes from the group that played at the Asia Cup. The likes of Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Suliman Safi also miss out aside from Naib.
Azmatullah Omarzai returns from an injury that sidelined him from the Asia Cup while Naveen, who last played a List A game in 2021, also comes back into the squad.
Naveen has played only seven ODIs to date, taking 14 wickets at an average of 25.42. Janat, who was recalled for the Asia Cup after a six-year gap from ODI cricket, was dropped.
Naib, meanwhile, shone on his ODI comeback in the Pakistan series with the wickets of the openers in the third and final ODI and later took a four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, but found himself out of the squad.
The rest of the squad has a familiar look with the spin department stocked with some outstanding talent. Aside from senior spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, the squad also features Mujeeb ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad.
The pace attack is bolstered by the return of Naveen, and also has Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman and Omarzai.
Afghanistan World Cup squad: 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.