CAPE TOWN: Afghanistan A will join South Africa A and India A to play a seven-match, 50-over tri-series starting on July 26 in Pretoria. Cricket South Africa (CSA) had extended an invitation to the Afghanistan Cricket Board after they were informed that Australia A, who were originally scheduled to participate in the tri-series, pulled out over a long-standing pay dispute with their board. “We are very pleased to accept Cricket South Africa’s invitation to participate in the upcoming triangular series,” Afghanistan Cricket Board’s chief executive Shafiqullah Stanikzai said. “This will be our first-ever visit to South Africa and I am certain that this will give Afghanistan A team very good exposure to competitive cricket.” This came on the back of Afghanistan securing Test status at the culmination of the ICC board meetings in June and CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat congratulated them on their rapid rise. Afghanistan also made their debut at Lord’s last week against MCC, but persistent rain led to play being called off midway. “Afghanistan were deservedly granted Full Member status at the ICC annual conference last month after showing impressive growth in recent years,” Lorgat said. The ACB tweeted their squad for the tour and it features 11 men who have already played international cricket including the likes of openers Usman Ghani and Javed Ahmadi, middle-order batsman Najibullah Zadran and wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai. Ihsan Janat, Younas Ahmadzai, Nawaz Khan, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai are the only uncapped players in the 15-member squad.
Afghanistan A squad:
Usman Ghani, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Younas Ahmadzai, Nasir Jamal, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah, Afsar Zazai (wk), Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Yamin Ahmadzai, Fareed Ahmad, Ihsan Janat, Younas Ahmadzai, Nawaz Khan, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai.
Published in Daily Times, July 18th , 2017.