Shahzad returns for World Cup qualifier

2019 Cricket World Cup

Afghanistan named their squad that will attempt to book a place in the 2019 World Cup in the qualifying tournament that gets underway next month including Mohammad Shahzad.

Shahzad has been sidelined by a year-long ban from the ICC for charges related to their anti-doping code.

Also included in the squad is sixteen-year-old Mujeeb Zadran who made his senior international debut against Ireland earlier this year before helping the Under-19s to a World Cup semi-final in New Zealand.

The teenager joined Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi in securing a place in the Indian Premier League when the auction was held in late January and he was snapped up by the Kings XI Punjab.

Mujeeb appears to have won his place ahead of left-arm spinner Amir Hamza who has experience of playing ODI cricket in Zimbabwe.

The squad is identical to the 15-man group announced to take on Zimbabwe in a five-match ODI series later this month in Sharjah.

Asghar Stanikzai will continue to lead the squad and would be expected to lead Afghanistan at the World Cup should they get there.

Afghanistan will contest Group B in the World Cup Qualifier alongside hosts Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong and whoever finishes as the runner-up from WCL Division Two in Namibia later this month.

Afghanistan squad: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Nasir Jamal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran