Afghanistan could make a surprise or two in the Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates, a country where they are used to play on it. It’s only their second appearance in the main event.
Afghanistan could not make their way to main stage of 2016 T20I Asia Cup which was held in Bangladesh. They played their first tournament in 2014 ODI event where they marked 32-run victory over hosts Bangladesh in Fatullah. Their rise to the game started since then.
They took part in 2014 as associates whereas they have now become a full-member nation. With securing place for 2019 World Cup, Afghanistan were given automatic qualification to Asia Cup 2018 on virtue of being a Test-playing country. They are ranked tenth at the moment in the ODI rankings.
Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have been stars for Afghanistan in past few years. They have been playing foreign leagues including IPL and BBL. Mujeeb Ur Rahman adds to Afghanistan’s spin mystery. Skipper Asghar Afghan has done well enough in leading his country to a wonderful journey.
Afghanistan were winners of World Cup Qualifiers 2018 in Zimbabwe beating Windies in the final. They have won T20I (2-0) and ODI (2-1) against Ireland away from home recently. Before that they had a memorable T20I series win over Bangladesh in June this year. The Afghans subjugated to 3-0 in Dehradun.
Afghanistan will face Group B’s Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi on September 17 and September 20. Afghanistan are familiar to conditions in UAE, which has been their home ground over the years.
Afghanistan squad: Asghar Afghan (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmat Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Samiullah Shinwari, Munir Ahmad Kakar (wk), Sayed Ahmad Sherzad, Sharafudin Ashraf, Yamin Ahmadzai
Group B- versus Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi, September 17
Group B- versus Bangladesh, Abu Dhabi, September 20