Naseer, the regular captain for Afghanistan, is expected to make a triumphant return and lead the squad, having recovered in time for the tournament. Numan Shah, the wicketkeeper-batter, has been appointed as the deputy captain, contributing to the team’s strategic leadership.
The squad boasts a mix of experienced players and emerging talent, with the return of top-order batter Ali Ahmad Nasar, who missed the U19 Men’s Asia Cup 2024. This combination sets the stage for a well-rounded team in the upcoming U-19 World Cup.
The inclusion of dynamic opening batter Hassan Eisakhil, right-arm leg-spinner Arab Gul Momand, and right-arm fast bowler Zahid Afghan, who displayed their skills in the recent Youth Tri-Series in Johannesburg, adds a formidable edge to Afghanistan’s campaign in the U-19 World Cup.
Their performances in the tri-series suggest they bring valuable contributions to both the batting and bowling departments, enhancing the overall strength of Afghanistan’s U-19 squad for the upcoming tournament.
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 U-19 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 acclimatising to the conditions.
(With IANS inputs)