Spin wizard Rashid Khan and allrounder Mohammad Nabi will spearhead Afghanistan’s assault on the 2019 World Cup after a 15-man squad was announced on Monday.
Seaming allrounder Gulbadin Naib will captain the side when they head to England and Wales for the global showpiece which begins on May 30, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said.
Veteran batsman Javed Ahmadi and fast bowler Shapoor Zadran were ignored by the selectors, who instead opted for hard-hitting opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai.
Fast bowler Hamid Hassan returns to the side for the first time since 2017 because of fitness issues alongside other frontline quicks Dawlat Zadran and Aftab Alam.
While most of the Afghan players are at a training camp in South Africa, the spinners are all warming up for the World Cup in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Ikram Ali Khil and the pace duo of Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad were named reserve players for the team, who begin their campaign against reigning champions Australia on June 1.
Afghanistan’s squad for the 2019 World Cup:
Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.