The inclusion of former captain Asghar Afghan and the return of the fast bowler Hamid Hassan were the big news as the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced their 15-man squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. Hassan (31) wasn’t active in games for long due to fitness issues. He last played cricket at the senior level in 2017. Although he made a comeback to the squad, his fitness still remains under scrutiny.Also Read - International Cricket Council Appoints Geoff Allardice as CEO
“Luckily for us, the come-back of senior fast bowler Hamid Hassan is good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches,” Chief Selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said in an official statement issued by the ACB. Afghan, who was sacked as captain earlier this month, also made a return. However, the team will be led by Gulbadin Naib. Also Read - Afghanistan Cricket Board Hints at Inclusion of Women in Country's Cricket
While Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Shahzad, and Samiullah Shinwari are included in the side, wicket-keeper batsman Ikram Alikhil has been named as a reserve for the World Cup team. “The final decision has been made based on many facts and considerations. I would like to thank all those who continue to support our national heroes,” the chief selector said. Also Read - ICC Appoints Working Group to Review Cricket in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s 15-member squad for the World Cup include, Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, CRashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
The team will first take on Pakistan and England in the warm-up matches before the World Cup on May 24 and 27. Afghanistan takes on Australia in their opening match of the World Cup on June 1.