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ICC World Cup 2019: Asghar Afghan included, Hamid Hassan recalled in Afghanistan's squad

Afghanistan will kickstart their campaign at the 2019 ICC World Cup against defending champion Australia on June 1. 

ICC World Cup 2019: Asghar Afghan included, Hamid Hassan recalled in Afghanistan's squad
Image Credits: ICC official website

Former skipper Asghar Afghan has been named in the 15-member Afghanistan squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which is slated to take place from May 30 to July 14 in England and Wales. 

Earlier this month, Asghar was removed as the captain of the Afghanistan cricket team and the country's cricket board opted for 'split captaincy'. 

All-rounder Gulbadin Naib was named as the new ODI skipper of Afghanistan and now, he is all set to lead the side in the upcoming 50-over showpiece event. 

Another surprise inclusion in Afghanistan's squad for the 2019 World Cup is the return of fast bowler Hamid Hassan, who played his last match at international level in 2016 before fitness issues hampered his involvement. 

The 31-year-old pacer has got a nod for the quadrennial event at the expense of seamer Shapoor Zadran, whose ODI form has been poor off late.

Reflecting on Hassan's inclusion, chief selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai was quoted by the ICC official website as saying, "Luckily for us, the comeback of senior fast bowler Hamid Hassan is a good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches."

While pacers Dawlat Zadran and Aftab Alam have also been named in the squad, top-order batsman Javed Ahmadi has been left out. 

As far as Afghanistan's spin department is concerned, the national selectors have decided to stick to the trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, while Shinwari and Rahmat Shah would serve as part-time options. 

Meanwhile, Ikram Ali Khil, Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad failed to make it to the 15-man squad, but they have been named as the reserve players. 

Talking about the tournament, Ahmadzai admitted that there would be many strong teams out there, but Afghanistan would put up their best game in the upcoming quadrennial tournament.

"It has been a six-month preparation process for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The mission is to play inspirational cricket in the tournament; I know there are strong teams but we will do our level best to achieve our goals," he said.

"There were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions," Ahmadzai added. 

Afghanistan will kickstart their campaign at the 2019 ICC World Cup against defending champion Australia on June 1. 

The full Afghanistan squad is as follows:

Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.