New Delhi: Afghanistan’s swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad is back into the national squad after serving a 12-month suspension for violating an anti-doping rule. Shahzad has been drafted into the 15-man ODI and T20I squads to play Zimbabwe next month in Sharjah.
The 31-year old, whose suspension was backdated to January 17, 2017, pleaded guilty to the doping charges but managed to convince the governing body that he had taken the substance ‘unintentionally’ to reduce weight. Once the ICC was sure that he had not taken the substance for any performance booster, a year-long ban was imposed.
Shahzad missed a lot of action as, during his suspension period, Afghanistan were granted the coveted Test status, drew their maiden ODI series against Windies and lost their maiden bilateral series versus Ireland.
Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will clash against each other for two T20I’s on February 5 and 6 respectively and it will be followed by the five-match ODI series, which will take place from February 9 to February 19. Also, the series will be the newly appointed head coach Phil Simmons’ first in charge of Afghanistan.
ODI: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Nasir Jamal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran. Reserves: Noor Ali Zadran, Karim Janat, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Afsar Zazai.
T20I: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Usman Ghani, Karim Sadiq, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah, Samiullah Shenwari, Aftab Alam, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran.