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The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), on Monday, announced their squad for the upcoming one-off Test against Sri Lanka. Notably, the only red-ball fixture is scheduled to be played from February 2-6 at the Sinhalese Sports Club Cricket Ground in Colombo.

Notable absences and exciting inclusions

The squad announcement comes with both expected names and exciting revelations. While the absence of star spinner Rashid Khan due to ongoing recovery from back surgery is felt, the inclusion of leg-spinning all-rounder Qais Ahmad adds a fresh dynamic to the team’s bowling arsenal.

However, what truly catches the eye are the maiden call-ups for two promising talents – Naveed Zadran and Mohammad Ishaq. These young cricketers have showcased their skills and potential in various domestic tournaments, earning them a well-deserved spot in the senior Test team.

Familiar names in the outfit

Led by Hashmatullah Shahidi, the squad boasts a blend of experienced campaigners and promising newcomers. Rahmat Shah will serve as his deputy, providing valuable leadership and experience on the field. Additionally, the inclusion of players like Ikram Alikhail and Abdul Malik further strengthens the team’s depth and versatility.

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Mirwais Ashraf, the Chairman of ACB, expressed his optimism and enthusiasm for the one-off Test and highlighted the significance of this fixture in Afghanistan’s cricketing journey. He also emphasized the board’s commitment to developing a formidable Test side.

“It’s quite pleasing to be playing our first test against Sri Lanka, who have a rich history of playing test-match cricket. The year 2024 is packed with test cricket for us, as we will be playing several test matches during the year. Same as our white-ball lineups, we are committed to strengthening our red-ball cricket and building a formidable test side as well,” said Ashraf in a media release.

Afghanistan Squad for the one-off test against Sri Lanka: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah (vc), Ikram Alikhail (wk), Mohammad Ishaq (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Yamin Ahmadzai, Nijat Masoud, Mohammad Saleem Safi and Naveed Zadran

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