Pacer makes comeback after two years as Afghanistan names its World Cup roster

The 15-member Afghanistan team has been selected to compete in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2023 starting next month. Naveen-ul-Haq rejoins the Afghanistan ODI team for the World Cup in India after a two-year absence, but experienced all-rounder Gulbadin Naib is left out despite a strong performance in the current Asia Cup. 

There are four changes from the group that competed in the Asia Cup in Hashmatullah Shahidi’s team. Along with Naib, other notables who were left out include Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, and Suliman Safi. Naveen, who last participated in a List A game in 2021, and Azmatullah Omarzai, who missed the Asia Cup due to injury, both rejoin the team.

Only seven ODIs have been played by Naveen, who has already claimed 14 wickets at an average of 25.42. After a six-year absence from ODI cricket, Janat was reinstated for the Asia Cup but was then benched.

With the wickets of the openers in the third and final ODI of the Pakistan series, Naib excelled on his ODI comeback. He then recorded a four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup but was left off the team.

The rest of the team has a recognizable appearance, and the spin department is filled with exceptional skill. The squad also includes Mujeeb ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad, veteran spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. The pace attack is strengthened with Naveen’s comeback and the addition of Omarzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi, and Abdul Rahman.

Afghanistan World Cup squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq.

Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, and Farid Ahmad Malik are reserve players.

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