Zia-ur-Rehman gets maiden call-up in Afghanistan squad for Zimbabwe ODIs

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Afghanistan have named two 16-member squads for their rescheduled white-ball tour of Zimbabwe, now beginning on 4 June.

Brought forward a week as part of an agreement between the two boards, the two teams will first play three ODIs from June 4, part of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League. Afghanistan are currently fifth on the CWCSL table with 70 points, while Zimbabwe are 12th with just 35 points.

The ODI series will be followed by three T20Is, beginning 11 June. All matches will be played at the Harare Sports Club.

Twenty-four-year-old Zia-ur-Rahman Akbar, who was the leading wicket-taker in the Green Afghanistan One Day Cup, has earned his maiden call-up. The left-arm spinner picked up 14 wickets in the tournament in just five matches in his team Hindukush Strikers' winning campaign.

All-rounder and former captain Gulbadin Naib, who was a part of the Afghanistan squad that played the ODI series against Bangladesh in February this year, has been left out. Left-arm spinner and U19 World Cup sensation Noor Ahmad and medium-pacer Nijat Masoud have been named as reserves.

Missing from the T20I list is off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who is named in the ODI squad and was a part of the T20Is against Bangladesh. Joining him is 21-year-old leg-spinner Qais Ahmad. They have been replaced by Noor Ahmad and right-handed batter Ihsanullah Janat.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Zahir Khan and the left-arm fast bowler Sayed Ahmad Shirzad are the reserves.

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ODI squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah (vc), Azmatullah Omarzai, Farid Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Alikhail (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Mujib ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rashid Khan, Riaz Hassan, Shahidullah Kamal, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zia ur Rahman Akbar

Reserves: Noor Ahmad, Nijat Masoud

T20I squad: Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran (vc), Afsar Zazai (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ihsanullah Janat, Karim Janat, Nijat Masoud, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Usman Ghani

Reserves: Zahir Khan, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad

ODI Itinerary:

4 June – 1st ODI, Harare Sports Club, Harare
6 June – 2nd ODI, Harare Sports Club, Harare
9 June – 3rd ODI, Harare Sports Club, Harare

T20I Itinerary:

11 June – 1st T20I, Harare Sports Club, Harare
12 June – 2nd T20I, Harare Sports Club, Harare
14 June – 3rd T20I, Harare Sports Club, Harare

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