Naseer Khan to lead Afghanistan 15-member U-19 World Cup squad

Afghanistan Cricket Board’s Selection Committee on Wednesday unveiled the 15-member U19 Squad led by Naseer Khan for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 scheduled to kick off on January 19 in South Africa.

Afghanistan Cricket Board’s Selection Committee on Wednesday unveiled the 15-member U19 Squad led by Naseer Khan for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 scheduled to kick off on January 19 in South Africa.

Naseer Khan, Afghanistan regular skipper, will be poised to make a triumphant return, expected to recover in time to lead the squad. Accompanying him in this leadership role is wicket-keeper batter Numan Shah, appointed as his deputy, adding depth to the team’s strategic setup.

A blend of experience and emerging talent defines the squad, with top-order batter Ali Ahmad Nasar making a comeback after missing the ACC U19 Men’s Asia Cup 2024.

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The dynamic opening batter Hassan Eisakhil, right-arm leg-spinner Arab Gul Momand, and right-arm fast bowler Zahid Afghan, fresh from their Youth Tri-Series performance in Johannesburg, add a formidable edge to Afghanistan’s campaign.

Naseeb Khan, the CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, emphasized the team’s rigorous preparation, citing their participation in major events and intensive training camps over the past six months. Expressing optimism for a stellar performance, Khan highlighted the team’s aspiration to replicate the success of the previous World Cup edition.

“The team has been part of two major events in the last month as well as has been engaged in extreme training camps over the past six months in the buildup for this mega event. We hope that the team will do well and repeat their success from the previous edition of the World Cup. We wish the team success in the upcoming event.”

The Afghanistan Squad for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 comprises a talented lineup, including Hassan Eisakhil, Khalid Taniwal, Jamshid Zadran, Wafiullah Tarakhil, Sohail Khan Zurmati, Rahimullah Zurmati, Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar, Faridoon Dawoodzai, Bashir Ahmad Afghan, Khalil Ahmad, and Zahid Afghan.

Three reserve players, Wahidullah Zadran, Nasir Hassan, and Usman Shinwari, bolster the squad’s depth, providing contingency options for the challenges that may unfold during the tournament.

Placed in Pool D alongside cricket powerhouses Pakistan, New Zealand, and Nepal, Afghanistan is set to embark on its World Cup journey, commencing with a high-stakes encounter against Pakistan on January 20 at the Buffalo Park Cricket Ground in East London, Johannesburg.

Before the main draw, Afghanistan will undergo crucial warmup matches against England and South Africa on January 14 and 16, respectively, fine-tuning their skills and acclimatizing to the conditions.

(IANS)