Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran back in Afghanistan squad for Asia Cup

Lucille Clifton

Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran back in Afghanistan squad for Asia Cup

Allrounder Karim Janat is in line to play an ODI after more than six years, having been named in Afghanistan’s squad for the Asia Cup. The 17-member squad also included Najibullah Zadran, who missed the Pakistan ODI series because of a knee injury. Left-arm spin-bowling allrounder Sharafuddin Ashraf, who last played for Afghanistan in August 2022, also made a comeback.
Janat played his only ODI in February 2017 against Zimbabwe, and has not featured in the format since. He has, however, been a regular part of the T20I side and also claimed a hat-trick in the first T20I against Bangladesh in July. Earlier this year, Janat made his Test debut as well.

Omarzai had missed the third ODI against Pakistan due to a side strain and was replaced by Gulbadin Naib in the squad, while Shahidullah was a replacement for Najibullah.

Hashmatullah Shahidi will lead the side which has the usual suspects Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran at the top of the order. There are plenty of spin options in Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sharafuddin and Noor Ahmad. Noor didn’t get any game in the ODI series against Pakistan but is one of the brightest young talents in the country, having made a name for himself in the franchise circuit around the world. He has so far played three ODIs for his country. Fazalhaq Farooqi will spearhead the pace attack.

Afghanistan are in Group B in the Asia Cup and will start their campaign against Bangladesh on September 3 in Lahore.

Afghanistan squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Abdul Rahman, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem, Fazalhaq Farooqi

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