Afghanistan news February 4, 2013

Afghanistan XI to play series against Pakistan A

ESPNcricinfo staff

An Afghanistan XI will play a series of limited-overs matches against the Pakistan A team and several regional sides as a part of an on-going conditioning camp in Pakistan. They will play five one-dayers and a Twenty20 at three venues around the country, starting from February 6. All matches will be broadcast live on television.

Afghanistan XI open their tour with a limited-overs match against a combined regional team led by Shahid Afridi, comprising players from Karachi and Hyderabad on February 6 at Niaz Stadium Hyderabad. They take on a combined team from Multan and Bahawalpur on February 8 and another from Rawalpindi and Faisalabad on February 10. The visitors will then take on Pakistan A for two one-dayers and a Twenty20.

This will be their second series against Pakistan A in the last two years, having lost having lost a one-day series 3-0 in May 2011.

The Afghanistan players are based at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore on a four-week training camp ahead of their international fixtures against Scotland in March. Though cricket is one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan, they have been forced to train outside their country due to a lack of cricketing infrastructure and have been using Sharjah Cricket Stadium as their home ground since 2010.

With the costs of training in Sharjah proving expensive, Afghanistan turned to Pakistan for cricketing help. They have been using NCA facilities for cricket development and preparation since last month and the series of matches is the part of their training programme.

Apart from the NCA facilities, Afghanistan get an opportunity to compete with some of the best players in Pakistan in the limited-overs series. Afridi will be leading the both the A team and the Hyderabad/Karachi Regional XI while Sohail Tanvir will captain Faisalabad/Rawalpindi Regional XI and Kamran Hussain will take charge of Multan/Bahawalpur Regional XI.

Pakistan A: (one-day)
Shan Masood, Khurram Manzoor, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Ali Waqas, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi (capt), Kamran Akmal, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Adnan Rasool.

Pakistan A: (Twenty20)
Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi (capt), Ali Waqas, Zulfiqar Babar, Adnan Rasool, Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Asad Ali, Ahmed Jamal, Ali Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Imran Khan

Hyderabad/Karachi Regional XI:
Rizwan Ahmad, Aqeel Anjum, Mohammad Waqas, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Mir Ali, Mohtashim Ali, Atif Maqbool, Faraz Ahmed, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Sami, Shahid Afridi (capt), Tabish Khan, Zafar Ali (wk), Fawad Alam

Multan/Bahawalpur Regional XI:
Naveed Yasin, Sohaib Maqsood, Usman Tariq, Usman Liaqat, Gulraiz Sadaf (wk), Kamran Hussain (capt), Zulfiqar Babar, Ahsan Nazir, Mohammad Talha, Rizwan Haider, Shahan Akram, Rehan Rafiq, Imranullah Aslam, Zain Abbas

Faisalabad/Rawalpindi Regional XI:
Sohail Tanvir (capt), Awais Zia, Asif Ali, Abid Ali, Umar Waheed, Hammad Azam, Naeem Anjum (wk), Babar Azam, Zohaib Ahmad, Hassan Mahmood, Sami Aslam, Samiullah Niazi, Nasir Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Asad Ali