Afghanistan have called up an uncapped Najeeb Tarakai in place of Afsar Zazai to boost their batting for the World Twenty20. The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad will continue to open the innings for Afghanistan and Tarakai will be expected to add more power to the top order.
Afghanistan also announced the squad for their maiden Asia Cup appearance. Noor Ali Zadran, who had been withdrawn from the World Twenty20 qualifier due to an injury and was left out of the World T20 squad, has been included for the Asia Cup. Allrounder Fazal Niazai has been rewarded with a call-up to the ODI team after recent consistent performances for the Afghanistan A team.
Heading into their third World T20, Afghanistan, who had finished second in the tournament qualifier last year, are slotted in Group A and will compete with Bangladesh, Hong Kong and Nepal for a spot in the final-ten stage. The team has been in Sri Lanka for the last month for a conditioning camp and will fly to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup, which is scheduled to begin on February 25. Afghanistan will start their World T20 campaign with a match against Bangladesh on March 16, the first game of the tournament.
Afghanistan squad for Asia Cup: Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Karim Sadiq, Nowroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Rahmat Shah, Mirwais Ashraf, Fazal Niazai, Hamza Hotak, Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Najeeb Zadran
Afghanistan squad for World T20: Mohammad Shahzad, Najeeb Tarakai, Karim Sadiq, Nowroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Mirwais Ashraf, Gulbadin Naib, Hamza Hotak, Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Najeeb Zadran