5 Afghanistan players namely, spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, pacer Hamid Hassan, allrounder Gulbadin Naib, left-arm wrist spinner Waqar Salamkheil, and allrounder Azmatullah Omarzai, all are waiting for their “visa issue” to get resolved before they can join other members of the squad in Abu Dhabi to take on Zimbabwe in the 3-match T20I series.
After the 1-1 draw in the Test series, the action moves to the shortest international format, in which Afghanistan is a force to reckon with; they have won their last 6 bilateral T20I series, and have emerged victorious in 12 of their previous 17 series/tournaments.
Captain Asghar Afghan could miss one of his ace spinner, Mujeeb Ur Rahman in at least the first of the three-match series against Zimbabwe which commences on 17th March. According to an official release by the Afghanistan Cricket Board, the above-mentioned 5 players are having issues obtaining the visas and will join the 15-member squad, only after the visa clearance
The T20I series comes at a good time for us: Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan, Afghanistan’s all-format skipper, says that the 3-match series against Sean Williams’ side will serve as a good preparatory series for his team ahead of the Asia Cup – not confirmed yet, and its schedule is uncertain owing to Team India qualifying for the WTC final – and the T20 World Cup later in the year in India.
Afghan’s aims his team continues their strides in the shortest format. Afghanistan’s last T20I series, which was a 2-1 victory over Ireland, was played last March, just before the coronavirus pandemic brought the sport to a halt. However, most of their players have been playing in different franchise leagues around the world.
“The T20I series comes at a good time for us as we prepare for the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup. It will give us a good idea,” Asghar Afghan said ahead of the first T20I.
“We have good experience already in T20 format but the more we play, the better we adapt ourselves,” he added.
Afghanistan squad for T20I series: Asghar Afghan (capt), Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Afsar Zazai (wk), Usman Ghani, Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Amir Hamza, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Farid Malik.
Players awaiting visas: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan, Gulbadin Naib, Waqar Salamkheil, Azmatullah Omarzai.