Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Naveen-ul-Haq have been named in Afghanistan’s 16-member squad for the five-match T20I series in Ireland. Spinners Qais Ahmad and Mujeeb ur Rahman, who were not part of Afghanistan’s series against Zimbabwe in June due to T20 Blast commitments, have been added as reserves, while Ihsanullah Janat, who made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe, has been left out.
Opening batter Ibrahim was part of the ODI side for the Zimbabwe tour, but his last T20I was in November 2019 against West Indies. He has been in good form in the ongoing Shpageeza Cricket League, where he is currently the third highest run-getter with 283 runs in seven innings at an average of 56.60. Top-order batter Shahidi was also part of the ODI series against Zimbabwe and last played a T20I in March 2021. Fast bowler Naveen, who has not represented Afghanistan in any format since November last year, was the second highest wicket-taker in the T20 Blast this season, taking 24 wickets in 14 matches for Leicestershire.

Top-order batter Usman Ghani and seam bowler Nijat Masood, who were part of the side that played against Zimbabwe, will also travel to Ireland as reserves along with Qais and Mujeeb.

Mohammad Nabi continues to lead the side, which also includes 17-year-old left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad, who took 4 for 10 on his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in June.

Former Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib was left out of the squad once again, after being dropped following the ODI series against Bangladesh in February. He was omitted from the T20I series of that tour and has not represented Afghanistan since.

The series against Ireland comprises five T20Is in Belfast and starts on August 9. To avoid visa issues that have plagued Afghanistan of late, the Afghanistan Cricket Board had obtained UAE residency visas for nearly dozen players and officials.

Afghanistan squad: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Azmatullah Omarzai, Sharfuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Farid Ahmed Malik, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmed