Afghanistan picks capless fast bowler Safi for T20 World Championship


Uncapped fast bowler Salim Safi and middle-order batsman Darwish Rasooli have been selected in Afghanistan’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia, the country’s cricket board announced on Thursday.

Saleem, 20, is yet to represent the national team in any format, while Rasooli has shown strong form in the Shpageeza Cricket League, Afghanistan’s national T20 tournament, after recovering from a finger injury.

Leg breaker Qais Ahmad has been recalled after last playing a T20 international for the Afghans against Bangladesh in March.

Samiullah Shinwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat and Noor Ahmad were dropped from the 17-man squad that reached the Super 4 stage of the recently concluded Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

“The Asian Cup was a very good opportunity for the team to prepare well for the all-important global event in Australia,” chief selector Noor Malikzai said in a statement.

‚ÄúLuckily Darwish Rasooli has recovered from his injury (broken finger) and we’re delighted to have him available for WT20, he…provides an extra shot option for our middle order.

“As Australian conditions provide further support for the fast bowlers, we added Salim Safi, the big right-arm fast, to add further momentum to our bowling division.”

The T20 World Championship begins on October 16 in Australia. Afghanistan, led by experienced all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, are in Group One and begin their campaign against England on October 22 in Perth.

Squad: Mohammad Nabi (Captain), Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Qais Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Salim Safi , Usman Ghani