Sediqullah Atal, Shahidullah Kamal, Abdul Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Noor Ahmad, who are all uncapped in ODI cricket, have found places in Afghanistan's 17-member squad for their first bilateral ODI series against Pakistan. The three-match series is scheduled to be played in the UAE* in September.
In addition to facing Pakistan in two Asia Cups and the 2019 World Cup, Afghanistan had come up against their neighbours in a one-off ODI in the UAE in 2012, when Pakistan won by seven wickets.
Hashmatullah Shahidi is set to make his captaincy debut, having been appointed to the job in ODI cricket in May earlier this year. Rahmat Shah will be his deputy while former captain Asghar Afghan has been left out of the side altogether. Afghan had led the team in their most recent ODI series against Ireland in the UAE, which they won 3-0. Javed Ahmadi, Gulbadin Naib, Sayed Shirzad and Yamim Ahmadzai were among the others from the Ireland series who were omitted from this squad.
Rashid Khan who was the first pick, by the Trent Rockets, in the ongoing Hundred, will be back to lead the spin attack along with Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Sixteen-year-old left-arm wristspinner Noor, who has already had stints in the BBL and PSL, is also part of the spin attack although he is yet to make his international debut.
Left-arm seamer Farooqi, who made his T20I earlier this year and was subsequently picked by the Chennai Super Kings as an IPL net bowler, could be in line for his ODI debut on this tour.
Kabul Eagles' Atal has made the ODI squad despite having not played a List A game in his career. The top-order batter has played only seven T20s so far, scoring 114 runs at an average of 16.28 and strike rate of 107.54. His domestic captain Rahmanullah Gurbaz is the frontline keeper in the squad, with the returning Ikram Alikhil being his back-up. Alikhil has last played ODI cricket in 2019.
Afghanistan currently have 30 points in the World Cup Super league, having swept Ireland 3-0.
Afghanistan squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Sediq Atal, Rahmat Shah (vice-capt), Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Alikhil , Shahid Kamal, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Abdul Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Noor Ahmad
Out: Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib, Javed Ahmadi, Sayed Shirzad, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Usman Ghani, Yamin Ahmadzai
In: Ibrahim Zadran, Sediqullah Atal, Ikram Alikhil, Shahidullah Kamal, Karim Janat, Abdul Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Noor Ahmad
Reserves: Yousuf Zazai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Saleem Safi, Qais Ahmad
*The venue was shifted a day after this article and the series will now take place in Sri Lanka