Afghanistan name 15-man squad for 2019 World Cup as Hamid Hassan gets ODI recall

Waseem Ahmed 16:36 22/04/2019
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Hamid Hassan (l) is back in the ODI squad after nearly three years.

Afghanistan became the latest side to name their squad for the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England with Gulbadin Naib set to lead the 15-man side.

Asghar Afghan has made the cut for the 15-man squad despite being removed from the Afghanistan captaincy across all three formats just recently.

There was a recall for pacer Hamid Hassan who last played an ODI for Afghanistan nearly three years ago on June, 2016. The 31-year-old has previously played 32 ODIs and 22 T20s for Afghanistan where he has picked up 56 and 32 wickets respectively.

“Luckily for us, the come-back of senior Fast bowler Hamid Hassan is a good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches,” Afghanistan chief selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai stated.

The final teams for the World Cup was selected after a 23-man probable squad was put through a training camp held at Potchefstroom in South Africa. Three of the players who failed to make the final cut – Ikram Ali, Sayed Shirzad and Karim Janat – have been designated as the reserve players for the World Cup squad.

“As chief selector, it is my duty to select a competitive team. However, there were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions,” said Dawlat Khan.

“We hope to play great cricket without any fear and with a fighting spirit in the tournament.”

Afghanistan are slated to open their World Cup campaign on June 1 when they take on five-time champions Australia.

AFGHANISTAN 15-MAN WORLD CUP SQUAD

Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, CRashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.

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India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane seeks BCCI permission to play county cricket for Hampshire

Sudhir Gupta 17:24 19/04/2019
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Rahane is hoping to play county cricket for the first time.

India Test stalwart Ajinkya Rahane has reportedly approached the BCCI to seek permission to play in the County Championship for Hampshire.

The India Test deputy skipper will have plenty of time on his hands in the summer after not being considered for selection in the 15-man ODI squad for the 2019 World Cup in England.

According to a report by IANS, Rahane has submitted an application to the BCCI and its Committee of Administrators (CoA) to seek permission to play for Hampshire from May to mid-July this year.

If granted permission to do so, Rahane will play in the County circuit for the first time in his professional career. Last year, India’s top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara had turned out for Yorkshire in the County Championship First Division while skipper Virat Kohli was due to play for Surrey before pulling out due to a late injury.

Pujara turned out for Yorkshire last year.

Pujara turned out for Yorkshire last year.

“There is no reason why Rahane wouldn’t be granted permission as the likes of Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were also given the go-ahead,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by IANS.

“Also, Rahane isn’t a part of the World Cup team, so he won’t have any international commitment at that time. He wants to play four-day games and that should actually help him when he returns to play Test cricket for India after the showpiece event gets over in England and Wales,” the official added.

Rahane is currently leading Rajasthan Royals in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) where he has so far scored 201 runs in eight innings.

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Afridi feels Amir and Wahab should have been included in Pakistan's World Cup squad

Waseem Ahmed 16:58 19/04/2019
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Afridi believes Wahab and Amir will be big misses in the WC.

Former Pakistan stalwart Shahid Afridi hopes the 15-man preliminary World Cup squad led by skipper Sarfraz Ahmed can capture the trophy but believes that they will miss the experience of pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.

Pakistan named its preliminary 15-man squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup on Thursday with Amir being the biggest omission although the left-armed pacer still has a chance to make the final cut should he impress in the preceding ODI series in England.

Wahab, meanwhile, had not been named even in the 23-man initial probable squad which underwent a two-day fitness camp at Lahore recently.

Amir’s struggles in limited-overs cricket since Pakistan’s 2017 ICC Champions Trophy triumph in England is all two well-known with the pacer going wicketless in nine of the 14 ODIs he has played in the period.

However, Afridi believes that Amir’s ability to swing the ball in English conditions and Wahab’s pace would have been massive assets for Pakistan’s World Cup squad.

“Must’ve been a tough decision for selection committee to select the best 15-member squad for the World Cup. Best of luck to those who have made it – Hopefully you’ll bring the cup home,” the former Pakistan all-rounder wrote on Twitter.

“Personally, I’ll miss Wahab Riaz because of pace and Mohammad Amir given the English conditions,” he added.

It will now be interesting to see if Amir can have a substantial impact in Pakistan’s upcoming five-match ODI series against hosts England to give the selectors something to think about before the final squad for the World Cup is announced.

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