Afghanistan Cricket Board on Monday announced a 16-member squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, starting from February 17. As per the squad announcement, Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be missing out from the series as he had picked “a sprain in his right phalanx (hand)” ahead of the ODI series. Meanwhile, Rashid Khan will also be missing this series as he continues to recover from a back surgery. Meanwhile, speedster Mohammad Saleem is also missing due to a hamstring injury.
Afghanistan have made four changes to the T20I squad that last played a series against India in January. Mujeeb and Saleem are out due to injuries, and they have dropped batter Rahmat Shah and wicket-keeper Ikram Alikhil for the series. In Rashid’s absence, Ibrahim Zadran will be leading the team once again after being at the helm for the India and UAE series.
Mujeeb last played for Afghanistan in the T20I series against India before flying to play in the ILT20 for Gulf Giants. He then flew to Sri Lanka for the ODIs and picked up the injury before that, making him unavailable for those games. Rashid has also not played cricket for a while now. He was last seen in action during the ODI World Cup 2023. The spin wizard pulled out from the BBL to undergo surgery and then was ruled out from the SA20 as well.
Sri Lanka name T20I squad, Binura Fernando replaces Chameera
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka announced their squad for the T20I series earlier in the day. As per the announcement, Dushmantha Chameera will be missing from the squad while Binura Fernando has been named his replacement. Wanindu Hasaranga will be leading the side with Charith Asalanka being his deputy.
Afghanistan squad: Ibrahim Zadran (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Mohammad Ishaq (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad, Wafadar Momand and Qais Ahmad
Sri Lanka T20I squad: Wanindu Hasaranga (C), Charith Asalanka (VC), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamindu Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka, Nuwan Thushara, Binura Fernando