Samiullah Shinwari, a seasoned all-rounder is all set to make a comeback. He has been selected for the 17-person Afghanistan Asia Cup squad.
Shinwari last played for Afghanistan in a T20I match against Ireland in March 2020, just before the COVID-19 breakout. That was more than two and a half years ago. He rejoins the team for the T20 event that will be contested in the UAE from August 27 to September 11.
Shinwari takes the place of Sharafuddin Ashraf in the current squad that is playing a bilateral series against Ireland. Ashraf, along with Qais Ahmad and Nijat Masoud, is now a member of the event’s reserve players group. Noor Ahmad, a left-arm wrist spinner has0 also returned to the national team. He was substituted for Mujeeb Ur Rahman for the Ireland trip.
“The Asia Cup is an important event for us and, as such, we have picked our best available players for the event,” said chief selector Noor Malikzai. “Samiullah Shinwari is in very good form and can give further impetus to the batting department, which already boasts Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi. Shinwari has not played any international match since March 2020, but he has done well in the recently held Shpageeza Cricket League 2022 and demonstrated that he is a good option to strengthen our middle order.”
After Wednesday’s series finale, the Afghanistan squad will leave for the United Arab Emirates. The squad is currently in Ireland for a five-match T20I series.
Afghanistan is grouped with Bangladesh (August 30) and Sri Lanka (August 27) for the Asia Cup. On September 3, the Super Four phases begin.
Afghanistan Squad: Mohammad Nabi (C), Najibullah Zadran (VC), Afsar Zazai (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Mujib ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rashid Khan and Samiullah Shinwari