Samiullah Shinwari included in Afghanistan 17-man squad for Asia Cup

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Samiullah Shinwari, the 34-year-old allrounder, has been recalled to Afghanistan’s 17-man squad for the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE. Mohammad Nabi continues to lead the side, which also includes legspinner Rashid Khan.

Afghanistan are in Group B and will open their Asia Cup campaign on August 27 against Sri Lanka in Dubai, before taking on Bangladesh in Sharjah on August 30.

“The Asia Cup is an important event for us and, as such, we have picked our best available players for the event,” Afghanistan’s chief selector Noor Malikzai said. “Samiullah Shinwari has been added to the side for the Asia Cup. He is in very good form and can give further impetus to the batting department, which already boasts Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi.”

Shinwari has represented Afghanistan in 64 T20Is since his debut in 2010, but has not played an international match since March 2020. He was recalled on the back of his performances for Boost Defenders in the recently-concluded Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL), where he scored 202 runs from nine matches at an average of 33.66.
Left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad, who was replaced by Mujeeb ur Rahman for the ongoing series against Ireland, also made a comeback for the Asia Cup. Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Naveen-ul-Haq kept their places in the squad.
Ibrahim and Shahidi had strengthened their claim to a place in the side with strong performances in the SCL. Shahidi was the tournament’s leading run-getter with 411 at 58.71, while Ibrahim scored 318 runs at an average of 53. Fast bowler Naveen was the second highest wicket-taker in the T20 Blast this season, with 24 wickets from 14 matches for Leicestershire.

Seam bowler Nijat Masoud, spinner Qais Ahmad, and allrounder Sharafuddin Ashraf will travel with the side to the UAE as reserves. However, there was no place for Ihsanullah Janat, who had made his T20I debut earlier this year against Zimbabwe.

Afghanistan are currently in Ireland for a five-match T20I series. Having lost the first two matches, Afghanistan won the next two to set up a decider in Belfast on Wednesday, after which the team will depart to the UAE for the Asia Cup.

Afghanistan squad: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Najibullah Zadran (vc), Afsar Zazai (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Mujib ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shinwari

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