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Recovering Rashid Khan to miss Afghanistan’s ODI series against Sri Lanka

Rashid Khan has not recovered in time for Afghanistan’s three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, which begins on February 9 in Pallekele.
Afghanistan’s ace spinner underwent a back surgery late last year and has not played any competitive cricket since the 2023 ODI World Cup in November. Qais Ahmad, who has played just one ODI for Afghanistan so far, will fill in for Rashid in Sri Lanka.
Naveen-ul-Haq, who had retired from ODI cricket after the World Cup, is also not part of the side and is instead in action for Durban’s Super Giants in the SA20. Noor Ahmad, who is Naveen’s team-mate in the SA20, will rejoin the national team and will miss the final stages of the league.
Najibullah Zadran and Abdul Rahman, who were part of Afghanistan’s World Cup squad, were left out for the Sri Lanka ODIs. Fast bowler Mohammad Saleem was sidelined by a hamstring strain, according to an ACB media release.
Allrounder Gulbadin Naib, who impressed with his big-hitting in the recent bilateral T20I series in India, earned a recall to the ODI side. He was a reserve player for Afghanistan during the 2023 ODI World Cup. Fareed Ahmad, who was also in the reserves during the World Cup, made it to the main squad this time.
Seamer Naveed Zadran, who impressed on Test debut, against Sri Lanka, broke into the ODI side as well. He is uncapped in ODI cricket and has played only six List A games so far, picking up eight wickets and scoring 29 runs.

“We have consistently striven to secure more bilateral cricket matches and create a busy schedule for our national teams,” ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said. “This marks our third visit to Sri Lanka in the past 16 months, which is a promising sign moving forward. The selectors have selected a strong line-up and we eagerly anticipate an exciting series ahead.”

All three ODIs will be played in Pallekele before the teams move to Dambulla for the following three-match T20I series. This will be Afghanistan’s first ODI assignment since the World Cup last year.

Afghanistan squad for ODI series against SL

Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Rahmat Shah (vice-capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran and Farid Ahmad Malik

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