Young Wicket-Keeper Set for Debut: Afghanistan Unveils Test Squad

Afghanistan has announced its Test squad for the upcoming one-off Test match against Ireland, set to commence on February 28. Notable inclusions in the squad include limited-overs standout Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who could potentially make his Test debut. However, spin sensation Rashid Khan will be absent from the squad as he continues to recover from lower-back surgery. In his place, leg-spinner Khalil Gurbaz has been added to provide additional spin options.

Fast bowler Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai has earned a recall to the squad, while Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Saleem Safi have been sidelined due to injuries.

Naseeb Khan, CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, expressed excitement about the upcoming Test match against Ireland, highlighting the history and competitiveness between the two teams. He emphasized the significance of this fixture as the second Test encounter between Afghanistan and Ireland.

The venue for the Test match has been shifted from the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi to the Tolerance Oval, which is also located within the same complex. This will mark the inaugural Test match to be played at the Tolerance Oval.

Afghanistan has a decent Test record, having won three out of eight matches played so far. Besides the match against Ireland, they are also scheduled to participate in a two-match Test series against Bangladesh and a one-off home Test against New Zealand in 2024.

Afghanistan Test squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah (vc), Ikram Alikhail (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Khalil Gurbaz, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Nijat Masoud, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai and Naveed Zadran.

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