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Shadab Khan to lead Pakistan in T20I series against Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: March 14, 2023)

Shadab Khan will captain Pakistan’s T20I side against Afghanistan in the absence of regular captain Babar Azam, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials announced late Monday.

Pakistan also decided to rest several key regulars for the series, including Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan.

Shadab has been the vice-captain of the limited-overs side in the last two years and even stood in for Babar during the T20I series in the tour of New Zealand in 2020.

Speaking after the announcement, Shadab said: “I am grateful to the Almighty for this opportunity. Representing your country is an honor for any cricketer and to lead it is even a bigger honor so I am very excited and eager to take this role.

“This is a big responsibility as I will be leading a nation of 220 million people and I will try my best to do justice with it with all the ability that I have.”

Several new talents such as Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan are in line for their T20I debuts after impressing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) while the likes of Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim have earned a recall.

Pakistan will depart for the UAE on 22 March for the series which starts on 24 March in what will be the first multi-game bilateral assignment between the two sides.

All three games will be played in Sharjah where Afghanistan will be on the hunt for their first limited-overs victory over Pakistan.

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Gurbaz included in Afghanistan’s squad for one-off test against Ireland

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(Last Updated On: February 26, 2024)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced the nation’s squad for the one-off test match against Ireland that is scheduled to be played from February 28 to March 3 at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been added to the test squad and is expected to be a potential debutant for Afghanistan against Ireland. In addition, a right-arm leg-spinner, Khalil Gurbaz, is expected to provide his leg-break bowling services.

Fast Bowler Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai has also been recalled to the squad after featuring in the Afghanistan squad for the Bangladesh tour in June last year. Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Saleem Safi who were part of Afghanistan’s squad for the Sri Lanka test earlier this month, miss out on the selection due to injuries.

ACB CEO Naseeb Khan stated that Afghanistan carries a rich playing history against Ireland over the past 15 years.

“We have quite a good playing history with Ireland, both countries have played plenty of cricket against each other and have been granted ICC Full Membership at the same time. This will be our second test against them and we are eagerly looking forward to what will be an exciting test match between the two team,” he said.

“We will also be playing tests against Bangladesh, New Zealand (for the first time) and Zimbabwe later in the year, so we are looking forward to building a formidable lineup for the test matches ahead.”

Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil, ACB’s interim Chief Selector said: “The team underwent a 10-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi, which featured 22 players and all the support staff to work with the players and ensure full preparation for the series. We have thoroughly monitored the proceedings and have picked the squad which includes several new faces who have excelled well during the recent domestic events.”

Afghanistan Squad for the one-off test against Ireland: Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Rahmat Shah (VC), Ikram Alikhail (WK), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Khalil Gurbaz, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Nijat Masoud, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai and Naveed Zadran.

This will be Afghanistan’s 9th overall test match and second against Ireland. The one-off test match against Ireland will be followed by 5 more test matches this year, including a two-test home series against Bangladesh and a one-off home test against New Zealand. Afghanistan has previously won three test matches each against Ireland (2019), Bangladesh (2019), and Zimbabwe (2021).

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Sri Lanka captain suspended by ICC for abusing umpire during Afghanistan match

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga has been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over abusing an on-field umpire during the third T20I against Afghanistan in Dambulla earlier this week.

Hasaranga has been slapped with a two-match suspension after his total demerit points reached five within the last 24-month period following his latest breach of the ICC Code of Conduct, for which he received a 50 per cent fine and three demerit points.

On Wednesday, Hasaranga approached umpire Lyndon Hanibal to express criticism regarding a decision of a high full toss not called a no-ball.

Sri Lanka required 11 runs off the final three balls when the incident occurred. With Momand’s delivery called legal and Mendis making no contact with the full toss, the equation became 11 off 2. Sri Lanka eventually lost the match by three runs.

The suspension means Hasaranga will miss Sri Lanka’s first two T20Is against Bangladesh next month.

Afghanistan player Rahmanullah Gurbaz has also been penalised. He has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct in the same match.

Rahmanullah was found in violation of article 2.4 of the Code, which pertains to “Disobeying an Umpire’s instruction during an International Match.”

Furthermore, one demerit point has been added to Rahmanullah’s disciplinary record, marking his second offence within a 24-month period and bringing his total demerit points to two.

The sanction was imposed on Rahmanullah for altering the grip of his bat on the field despite repeated warnings against doing so.

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Afghanistan A cricket team to tour Sri Lanka in April

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Friday announced that the nation’s A team is scheduled to play five One Day matches and one four-day match against Sri Lanka from April 28 to May 14.

Afghanistan A will arrive in Sri Lanka on April 25 and kick off their tour with a One Day match against the Sri Lanka A side on April 28. Other four One Day matches are scheduled to be played on April 30, May 3, May 5, and May 7. 

Following the One Day matches, a one-off four-day match is slated to be held from May 11 to May 14.

The venues for these matches are yet to be confirmed.

Naseeb Khan, CEO of ACB, expressed his satisfaction with the consistent engagement of the Afghanistan A squad in bilateral events and multi-nation events. He highlighted the importance of providing ample exposure to the A team, which serves as the backup for the senior national team.

“The ACB remains committed to facilitating as much exposure as possible for the AfghanAtalan (A team) squad, which comprises our talented young cricketers,” he added.

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