World Cup Qualifiers 2018 March 19, 2018

Stanikzai back for Afghanistan

ESPNcricinfo staff

© WICB Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks LaTouche Photogr

Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan's captain, will return to action, having been cleared fit after a bout of appendicitis that kept him out of his side's World Cup Qualifier campaign till now. He comes into the squad in place of Afsar Zazai, who has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury picked up during training over the weekend.

Stanikzai was forced to undergo surgery for appendicitis in late February, and was expected to be sidelined for about ten days, missing the start of the qualifiers. However, his recovery has taken longer, meaning 19-year-old vice-captain Rashid Khan has had to lead Afghanistan through the majority of the tournament.

Afghanistan now have two games left in the Super Sixes, but their chances of securing a spot in the 2019 World Cup are very slim. They need to win both their remaining games by big margins to boost a poor net run-rate, and then hope Scotland and Zimbabwe both lose their final games to West Indies and UAE respectively.

Afghanistan's next game is on Tuesday, against UAE, before a clash with Ireland on March 23.

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