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Rashid Khan set for comeback after back surgery

Named in Afghanistan's T20I squad to face Ireland; will be his first on-field action since the 2023 World Cup

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi slowed down South Africa in the middle overs, Afghanistan vs South Africa, World Cup, Ahmedabad, November 10, 2023

Rashid Khan's return will be a big boost for Afghanistan  •  AFP/Getty Images

Rashid Khan has been named in Afghanistan's squad for the upcoming Ireland T20Is, meaning he has now fully recovered from the back injury and subsequent surgery that has kept him out of action since the 2023 World Cup.
Rashid had missed stints at the Big Bash League, the SA20, and Afghanistan's assignments against UAE, India, Sri Lanka and now the Test and ODIs against Ireland due to the injury. He had travelled with the squad to India in January, but at that point was not yet good to go. His team-mate Ibrahim Zadran had said then: "He is not totally fit, but is travelling with the team. We hope that he gets fit as soon as we expect him to. He's doing his rehab with the doctor, and we will miss him in the series."
Rashid had been Afghanistan's leading wicket-taker at the ODI World Cup, with 11 wickets. If he can slot in here and hit the ground running, that will be good news for Afghanistan as they prepare for the next big global assignment: the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June. It will also be good news for Gujarat Titans, whom Rashid represents at the IPL. Titans open their IPL 2024 campaign on March 24.
In another big boost to their spin attack, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who was recovering from a right phalanx sprain, also returns.
Uncapped allrounder Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai features in the 15, as does Mohammad Ishaq, who debuted in the T20Is against Sri Lanka in February. Left-arm spinner Nangeyalia Kharote, who starred on debut in the third ODI of the ongoing tour, looks set for a T20I debut as well. Also in the squad is opening batter Sediqullah Atal, who last played for Afghanistan at the Asian Games in October.
Afghanistan host Ireland for three T20Is in this series in Sharjah, on March 15, 17 and 18. Afghanistan had won the preceding ODIs 2-0, while Ireland had registered their maiden Test win in the one-off Test match.

Afghanistan squad for Ireland T20Is

Rashid Khan (capt), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Sediqullah Atal, Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai, Mohammad Ishaq (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Nangeyalia Kharote, Azmatullah Omarzai, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Wafadar Momand, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi