Afghanistan squad for one-off Test against Ireland announced; Rahmanullah Gurbaz gets call-up

Updated - 26 Feb 2024, 05:08 PM

Afghanistan Playing 11 vs Sri Lanka – Only Test, 2024
Photo Credit: (AFP)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday (26th February) announced the strong 16-member squad for the upcoming one-off Test against Ireland. The match between the two teams will be played between February 28 – March 03 at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi. 

Afghanistan Cricket Board has added keeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz to the team and it is likely that he will be making his debut for the team. Hashmatullah Shahidi will be captaining the team with Rahmat Shah being his deputy for the Test match against Ireland. 

Leg-spinner Khalil Gurbaz has also made the cut into the Team following his impressive performances in the domestic circuit. The spinner has picked 40 wickets in 17 innings with the best of 6/125 in an innings. Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Saleem Safi who were part of the Sri Lanka series, will be missing the one-off Test due to injuries. 

In their absence, Afghanistan has recalled Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai into the team. He last featured for the team during the  Bangladesh tour in June last year. The rest of the squad is pretty similar to what played against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour. 

Here’s the 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 Test match and they would want to make it special. This will also be only the second time that Afghanistan and Ireland will be clashing with each other in the Test match. With exciting players around both teams, it will be a cracker of a game. 

We are looking forward to building a formidable lineup for the test matches – Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Naseeb Khan 

Talking about the one-off Test against Ireland, ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said that they are looking forward to the game because it will allow them to prepare for the formidable lineup for the Test matches going ahead. Releasing the official statement, he explained: 

“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. 

“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.”

Talking about the squad for the one-off Test ACB’s interim Chief Selector Ahmad said that they organized a 10-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi and picked a squad of players who have done well. He stated: 

“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.” 

After the one-off Test against Ireland, Afghanistan will play a few more Tests this year. They will be hosting Bangladesh for two games and New Zealand for one match.

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AFG vs IRE 2024 Afghanistan National Cricket Team Ireland National Cricket Team Rahmanullah Gurbaz