Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s U19 World Cup warm-up matches cancelled due to visa glitches

Afghanistan’s warm-up matches ahead of the upcoming ICC Men’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup have been cancelled due to ‘delay in obtaining visas’, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced.

The global cricket governing body also announced that the warm-up matches for England and the UAE have been rescheduled.

Notably, the Afghanistan squad is yet to arrive in the West Indies, the venue for the showpiece event, due to delays in obtaining the necessary visas. The ICC further said that discussions attempting to resolve the issue are on.

The global body for also provided an update on the warm-up matches for England and the UAE saying: “The warm-up matches in St Kitts and Nevis against England at Warner Park on 10 January (tomorrow) and the 12 January fixture against the UAE at St Paul’s have both been cancelled. England will now play UAE at Conaree Cricket Centre on 11 January.”

“We have been working together with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and relevant stakeholders to try and find a resolution to the problem and allow the team to travel. In the meantime, we have rescheduled the warm-up fixtures to ensure the teams in the region are able to continue their preparation ahead of the start of the tournament on 14 January,’ said Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events in a statement.

Notably, the upcoming ICC Men’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup will be the seventh time when Afghanistan will participate in the event and thier best-ever finish in the t0urnament came in the 2018 edition in New Zealand, where they reached the semi-finals before going down to Australia.

In the upcoming edition of the showpiece tournament, which is slated to begin from January 14, Afghanistan are placed in Group C alongside Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.

A total of 16 teams are scheduled to compete in 48 matches over 22 days, with the final to be played on February 5.

Earlier, the New Zealand Under-19 team had decided to withdraw from the upcoming edition due to mandatory quarantine restrictions for minors they would have faced upon return from the tournament.

The Black Caps were then replaced by Scotland in competitive Group D, which also features hosts West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka.

The upcoming event will be played in the Caribbean for the first time in its 14-edition history and will begin with a contest between hosts West Indies and Australia on January 14. The final of the showpiece event will be held on February 5.

Defending champions Bangladesh is placed in Group A alongside England, Canada and UAE while four-time champions India, one of the most successful team in the event’s history, are placed with South Africa, Ireland and Uganda in Group B.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, PNG and Zimbabwe compose Group C.

As per the schedule, the tournament will be held across 10 venues in four countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.

Klusener not to renew contract with Afghanistan cricket team

Former South Africa cricketer Lance Klusener has decided not to renew his contract as the head coach of Afghanistan cricket team after his tenure ends on December 31.

The former South Africa all-rounder was first appointed as the head coach of the Afghan senior men’s cricket team in September 2019.

Issuing a statement, he said: “Having spent two years with the team, I will take away some memorable moments with me.”

“As I walk away from Afghanistan cricket team and its cricketing structure, I look forward to the next stage in my coaching career and opportunities it brings,” he added.

Klusener had taken over from Andy Moles, who was serving as the Afghanistan head coach after the exit of Phil Simmons following the 2019 World Cup in England. Later, Klusener’s contract was extended at the end of 2020.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best talent in world cricket,” Klusener had said after his appointment in 2019.

“Everyone knows the fearless brand of cricket Afghanistan play. I am very confident that with some hard work we can become one of the best sides in the world,” he had added.

Notably, even as Afghanistan played very little cricket in the year 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it performed decently well in all formats under Klusener. Afghanistan won one Test, three out of six ODIs and nine out of the 14 T20Is, which includes series wins over West Indies and Ireland during Klusener’s tenure.

However, Afghanistan had a disappointing outing in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman where they crashed out of the knockouts race after managing to win only two of their five Super 12s matches.

During his playing days, Klusener represented South Africa in 49 Tests and 171 ODIs between 1996 to 2004. He had amassed 1906 and 3576 runs in Tests and ODIs respectively beside bagging 80 and 192 wickets in the two formats.

The former South Africa all-rounder has previously worked as the batting coach of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He had also served as the head coach of the South Africa domestic side Dolphins, as well as bowling coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians, the most successful side in the history of the cash-rich league after winning five titles.

Afghanistan women can continue playing cricket: ACB chairman

Newly appointed chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Mirwais Ashraf has said that his country’s women will continue playing cricket.

According to a report in the Tolo News Agency (TNA), during his introductory meeting with the ACB staffers and managers, Ashraf said that in order to remain a part of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it is imperative for the country to let Afghan women play the sport.

“Women’s cricket is one of the major requirements of the ICC, therefore, it is committed to obtaining it,” said Ashraf.

“Our girls will be playing cricket on a normal basis and we are looking to provide for their basic needs and all the facilities they need. Every employee must stay committed to the ACB and must strive hard to do well in their own areas,” he added.

Significantly, after Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August this year, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) recently postponing the one-off test in Hobart, was was slated to be held in November end in Brisbane.

After ousting the Afghanistan’s elected government in August this year, few senior Taliban leaders had said that Afghan women would no longer play cricket or any other sport under their regime which didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and even the ICC.

Last week, the ICC Board had appointed a Working Group to review the status of the ACB and cricket in Afghanistan in light of the recent governmental changes in the country.

The group comprised of Imran Khwaja (Chair), Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo and Ramiz Raja and is likley to report back to the Board over the coming months.

Commenting on the development, ICC Chair Greg Barclay had said: “The ICC Board is committed to continuing to support Afghanistan Cricket to develop both men’s and women’s cricket moving forward. We believe the most effective way for this to happen will be to support our members in their efforts to achieve this through its relationship with the new government.”

“Cricket is fortunate to be in the position to influence positive change in Afghanistan with the national men’s team a source of great pride and unity in a country with a young population that has experienced more upheaval and change than most. We should protect that status and continue to try to influence change through the ACB but will continue to closely monitor the situation and take any decisions accordingly,” he had added.

Recently, when asked if the women cricketers not being allowed to take part would result in its men’s team getting suspended, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice had said that the global body will not interfere in bilateral arrangements.

“Our goal is to see men and women playing cricket in Afghanistan. Our view is that the best way to achieve that is to stay closely connected with the cricket board and try to influence [things] through the cricket board. They are on a steady trajectory of development there and we would like to see that continue,” Allardice had said.

“How other members react to their bilateral arrangements with Afghanistan is up to them. We will be working through their situation at both board levels. They are the agent for developing cricket in their country,” he had added.

BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly appointed chairman of ICC Cricket Committee

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has been appointed as the Chairman of ICC’s Cricket Committee, the global governing body of the game announced on Wednesday.

Ganguly will be replacing his former India teammate Anil Kumble, who has served the maximum of three, three-year terms after being appointed in 2012.

Commenting on the development, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay said: “I am delighted to welcome Sourav to the position of Chair of the ICC Men’s Cricket Committee.”

“His experience as one of the world’s best players and latterly as an administrator will help us shape our cricketing decisions moving forward. I would also like to thank Anil for his outstanding leadership over the last nine years which has included improving the international game through more regular and consistent application of DRS and a robust process for addressing suspect bowling actions,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ICC Board also announced some other crucial decisions like the formation of a Working Group to review the status of cricket in Afghanistan after the recent governmental change.

Imran Khwaja has been named Chairman of this Group that includes Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo and Ramiz Raja.

“The ICC Board is committed to continuing to support Afghanistan Cricket to develop both men’s and women’s cricket moving forward,” Barclay said.

“We believe the most effective way for this to happen will be to support our Member in its efforts to achieve this through its relationship with the new government. Cricket is fortunate to be in the position to influence positive change in Afghanistan with the national men’s team a source of great pride and unity in a country with a young population that has experienced more upheaval and change than most. We should protect that status and continue to try to influence change through the ACB but will continue to closely monitor the situation and take any decisions accordingly,” he added.

Earlier, although the ICC had opted for a wait-and-watch approach on Afghanistan but had said that it will discuss the future of cricket in the war-torn nation nation in its board meeting in November.

After Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) recently postponing the one-off test in Hobart, was was slated to be held in November end in Brisbane.

After ousting the Afghanistan’s elected government in August this year, few senior Taliban leaders had said that Afghan women would no longer play cricket or any other sport under their regime which didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and even the ICC.

Recently, when asked if the women cricketers not being allowed to take part would result in its men’s team getting suspended, Allardice had said that the global body will not interfere in bilateral arrangements.

Moreover, the board also announced to stick to the existing format of the World Test Championship (WTC) where nine teams play over a period of two years with the top two facing off in a final.

With the number of participating teams in the ODI World Cup increased to 14 again for the 2027 edition, the ICC has decided that the top 10 teams in the rankings at a predetermined cutoff date will qualify automatically for the tournament. The rest of the slots will be determined via a qualifier.

ICC Board appoints Afghanistan Working Group to review status of ACB

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on Wednesday announced to appoint a Working Group to review the status of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and cricket in Afghanistan in light of the recent governmental changes in the country.

As per a statement by the global cricket governing body, the group comprises Imran Khwaja (Chair), Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo and Ramiz Raja. The group will report back to the Board over the coming months.

Commenting on the development, ICC Chair Greg Barclay said: “The ICC Board is committed to continuing to support Afghanistan Cricket to develop both men’s and women’s cricket moving forward. We believe the most effective way for this to happen will be to support our members in their efforts to achieve this through its relationship with the new government.”

“Cricket is fortunate to be in the position to influence positive change in Afghanistan with the national men’s team a source of great pride and unity in a country with a young population that has experienced more upheaval and change than most. We should protect that status and continue to try to influence change through the ACB but will continue to closely monitor the situation and take any decisions accordingly,” he added.

Earlier, although the ICC had opted for a wait-and-watch approach on Afghanistan but had said that it will discuss the future of cricket in the war-torn nation nation in its board meeting in November.

After Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) recently postponing the one-off test in Hobart, was was slated to be held in November end in Brisbane.

After ousting the Afghanistan’s elected government in August this year, few senior Taliban leaders had said that Afghan women would no longer play cricket or any other sport under their regime which didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and even the ICC.

Recently, when asked if the women cricketers not being allowed to take part would result in its men’s team getting suspended, Allardice had said that the global body will not interfere in bilateral arrangements.

“Our goal is to see men and women playing cricket in Afghanistan. Our view is that the best way to achieve that is to stay closely connected with the cricket board and try to influence [things] through the cricket board. They are on a steady trajectory of development there and we would like to see that continue,” Allardice had said.

“How other members react to their bilateral arrangements with Afghanistan is up to them. We will be working through their situation at both board levels. They are the agent for developing cricket in their country,” he had added.

Many senior Australian cricketers had supported the call to cancel the one-off Test against Afghanistan following such statements while the CA has now said that they will host the match only once the situation is clearer.

Recently, the Mohhamad Nabi-led Afghanistan team bowed out of the just concluded T20 World Cup Super 12 stage after managing to win just two of their five Group 2 matches. They lost to neighbours Pakistan, India and finalist New Zealand.

Melbourne Renegades sign Afghan spinner Zahir Khan for upcoming BBL season

Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Renegades have signed up emerging Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan for the upcoming 11th season of the T20 tournament, beginning December 5 in Sydney.

Khan, 22, will now move to the Renegades after featuring for the Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat over the past two seasons of the BBL.

Zahir, a left-arm wrist spinner, boasts a bevy of variations and has already made an impact in the BBL after scalping 14 wickets from his 16 games, with his economy rate a miserly 6.76.

Commenting on the signing, Head Coach David Saker said: “We’re excited to welcome Zahir Khan to our Renegades program.”

“He has shown some promising signs in the Big Bash over the last two years. He’s a skilful bowler, has plenty of variations and is a young player who will only continue to improve. Zahir plays with a lot of energy and we believe he will add a point of difference to our bowling attack,” he added.

On the other hand, Melbourne Renegades General Manager James Rosengarten said: “Zahir Khan’s signing is another important piece of the puzzle for us this season and we’re glad to have him on board. With the additions of Zahir and Mohammad Nabi, our squad is finalised and we’re full steam ahead into preparations over the next 4 weeks for BBL to get underway.”

“There’s a nice blend of experienced, senior players alongside plenty of emerging talent in our playing group. We’re confident this group is capable of lifting the Renegades back up the ladder this season,” he added.

Zahir will joins fellow Afghan T20I skipper and ace all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, English fast bowler Reece Topley and Indian batter Unmukt Chand as overseas signings.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Renegades had announced the re-signing of Nabi, who will play his fifth successive summer with the Melbourne-based franchise.

Nabi, 36, has represented the Renegades in 34 matches in the previous four seasons and was also part of the title-winning squad in BBL 08.

Commenting on the development, Nabi, the No. 1 ranked all-rounder in T20I cricket, had said: “It’s great to be linking up with the Renegades once again. Going into my fifth Big Bash campaign, I feel like part of their family. I hope we can win another title and give our fans something to smile about after such a difficult time for everyone.”

The upcoming season of the Big Bash league will begin on December 5 with a game between Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Aaron Finch-led Melbourne Renegades will open their campaign against Adelaide Strikers on December 7 at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.

Melbourne Renegades BBL Squad: Aaron Finch, Cameron Boyce, Unmukt Chand (IND), Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Zahir Khan (AFG), Josh Lalor, Nic Maddinson, Shaun Marsh, Mohammad Nabi (AFG), James Pattinson, Mitchell Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Reece Topley (ENG)

Former cricketer Mirwais Ashraf appointed new cricket chief of Afghanistan Cricket Board

Afghanistan’s former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf has been appointed as the acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) by the Taliban-led interim government.

Ashraf has replaced Azizullah Fazli, who was in charge of the top post for merely couple of months.

As per reports in Afghanistan media, the decision was taken after the national players demanded the Taliban officials in a meeting in Abu Dhabi during the ongoing T20 World Cup.

“The prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has appointed Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB),” a Taliban statement said.

The 33-year-old Ashraf has featured in 46 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 25 T20 internationals for Afghanistan. he played his last international game in 2016.

Recently, the Mohhamad Nabi-led Afghanistan team bowed out of the ongoing T20 World Cup Super 12 stage after managing to win just two of their five Group 2 matches. They lost to neighbours Pakistan, India and finalist New Zealand.

Earlier last wek, Cricket Australia (CA) had postponed a Test match against Afghanistan — the first scheduled between the two nations — in Brisbane later this month.

After ousting the Afghanistan’s elected government in August this year, few senior Taliban leaders had said that Afghan women would no longer play cricket or any other sport under their regime which didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and even the ICC.

Many senior Australian cricketers had supported the call to cancel the one-off Test against Afghanistan following such statements while the CA has now said that they will host the match only once the situation is clearer.

Issuing a statement, the governing body of Cricket in Australia said: “CA is committed to support growing the game for women and men in Afghanistan and around the world, however, given the present uncertainty, CA felt it necessary to postpone the Test match until a later time when the situation is clearer.”

“CA looks forward to hosting Afghanistan players in the BBL (Big Bash League) this season, who are great ambassadors for the game, and to hosting both the Afghanistan women’s and men’s team in the not too distant future,” the statement added.

Significantly, it was for the second time the Test match has been postponed, with the match moved back from November 2020 due to COVID-19 complications.

After the development, Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi expressed disappointment and said: “It’s disappointing the Test match isn’t going ahead this year but I’m happy that the match is only postponed and not cancelled.”

“My representative has been assured by Cricket Australia that they remain committed to the development of cricket in Afghanistan, so I look forward to hearing how we can work together in this regard,” he added.

T20 World Cup: Can the Men in Blue still qualify for the semi-finals?

With two back to back humiliating defeats in as many games, the Virat Kohli-led Team India are on the brink of making an early exit from the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, currently underway in the UAE.

After being crushed to a 10-wicket defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan in their campaign opener, the Men in Blue, once again succumbed against New Zealand on Sunday (October 31), suffering an eight-wicket loss this time. Team India, who were one of the pre-tournament favourites to lift the coveted trophy, now face an uphill task to make it to the semi-finals of the showpiece event.

After last night’s result, one thing that would be in every Indian cricket fan’s mind is that can the Kohli-led side still have a chance to advance to the semi-finals?

Undoubtedly, India still carries a slight chance of making to the knock-outs however, for that to happen the Kholi’s side not only needs to win all its remaining matches but would also expect other results to go in their favour.

India will now need to beat Afghanistan, which are seated at the second spot in the point-table with a decent net run-rate (NRR) of (+3.097). India also needs to beat Scotland and Namibia by huge margins to improve its own NRR, which is -1.609 currently.

On the other hand, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan is likely to win its remaining matches against Scotland and Namibia to finish at the top of the table.

Meanwhile from India’s prospective, Afghanistan needs to beat the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand and if not, then the Kiwis must beat the Mohammad Nabi-led side not by a big margin. Moreover, either Namibia or Scotland need to pull off an upset against New Zealand, which seems an unlikley affair.

Even if all the above mentioned things goes India’s way, then the Black Caps will finish the league stage with six points like India and in such a scenario, everything would then rely on the NRR, which would decide the second semifinalist from the Group 2.

Earlier after going down against New Zealand, Kohli admitted that his side wasn’t brave enough in any department of the game.

“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field. When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations – not just from fans, but players as well,” Kohli said after the defeat to New Zealand.

“So there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years. Everyone who plays for India has to embrace it. And when you cope together as a team you overcome it and we haven’t done it these two games. Just because you’re the Indian team and there are expectations doesn’t mean you start playing differently. I think we’re fine, there’s a lot of cricket left to play,” he added.

The Men in Blue are slated to next face Afghanistan on Wednesday (November 3) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

FIFA President calls on global football community to show solidarity with Afghan refugees

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called on the global football community and governments worldwide to offer support in face of the escalating refugee and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

President Infantino was speaking during a visit to the compound in Doha at which the State of Qatar, in collaboration with FIFA and the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), has housed over 150 Afghan refugees who were in critical danger due to their links to women’s sport.

Qatar has evacuated over 70,000 people from Afghanistan since August, and the FIFA President was keen to express his appreciation for the Gulf state for those efforts. In addition, he thanked the Albanian government led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, which has agreed to take in and house the first group of evacuees, to provide football players and their families with temporary settlement and to help FIFA to evacuate many more.

“Qatar in particular and His Highness the Amir, they have to be thanked,” President Infantino said.

“These girls and their families are here in a safe environment, at a compound built for the FIFA World Cup next year. The first one who jumped in was Prime Minister Edi Rama from Albania; I want to thank him as well. But we need more countries, we need more governments, we need more football family members to help – not just to talk about solidarity or to talk about helping but to do it with real action,” he continued.

“We will continue to knock on all the doors around the world, and we hope that some will listen and hear this plea, this call for help, and will open the doors to these girls, who all have an amazing life story to tell,” he added.

Among the evacuees staying at the compound are players from the senior, U-23, U-17 and U-15 Afghan women’s teams, together with their family members. There are also female match officials, administrators and women’s football coaches within the group.

AFF General Secretary Fazil Mohammad Shahab – who was heavily involved in promoting and developing women’s football across the country – is also among the evacuees at the camp. Lawyers who worked on the Keramuudin Karim abuse case, which resulted in a lifetime ban from football for the former AFF President, were also evacuated for their own safety, along with family members.

In addition to those connected to football, FIFA also assisted the Afghanistan National Basketball Federation and the organisation Equality League with the evacuation of over 30 women associated with female basketball in Afghanistan, including 19 members of the women’s national and regional teams, all of whom are now also safely at the compound in Doha.

“We all often say that football gives hope,” said the FIFA President.

“This is real life and to be able to give real hope to these girls and to their families, to enable them to build a new life, is something that you cannot explain in words. It is very emotional to be here. I am very, very happy that we have been able to help many football players, many girls to get out of Afghanistan and there is more to come,” he added.

FIFA intends to bring more girls, women and others associated with women’s sport safely out of the country over the coming weeks with Qatar’s help.

Joyce Cook, the FIFA Chief Social Responsibility & Education Officer, has led the operation for the past two months. Speaking from Doha, she added her own words of admiration for all those involved and praised the strength of character shown by the brave young women and girls.

She said: “I was asked to lead our efforts by our President and our Secretary General. It’s been an incredible team effort and we could not have done it without our friends and colleagues in Qatar. We have achieved a lot, but we have so much more still to do and so many more to bring.”

“I think any human being that gets this close to the tragedy – to meet the girls, to hear their stories; stories of heartbreak and loss, but also stories of exceptional strength and determination – cannot help but feel an immense responsibility,” she continued.

“This is a human story, a human effort with people everywhere that care deeply about these courageous young women and girls. Their journey is only just beginning – this story is not over – and I take this opportunity to reiterate what the FIFA President has said: we cannot do it alone. We now need governments around the world to come forward and offer our players permanent settlement and the chance to rebuild their young lives,” she added.

ICC to take call on cricket’s fate in Afghanistan next month

Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) had opted for a wait-and-watch approach on Afghanistan but will discuss the future of cricket in the war-torn nation nation in its board meeting, which will be held in November, the global cricket governing body’s acting chief executive Geoff Allardice has said.

After Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) threatening not to host them for a one-off test in Hobart next month if the new government in Kabul did not allow women’s cricket in the country.

Although the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had said that it was committed to women’s cricket but was awaiting instructions from its government on its future.

“Our primary function is to support the development of cricket in that country through the member board,” Allardice told a virtual news conference ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup which begins on October 17.

“We have said all along that we are waiting to see how things unfold under the different regime in that country. The ICC board will consider it when they next meet which is looking like at the end of the T20 World Cup,” he added.

Although Australia Test captain Tim Paine had earlier said that teams might opt not to play against Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup however, Allardice said there was no doubt over their participation in the showpiece event.

“They are full member of the ICC and the team is preparing for the event at the moment and will be playing in Group B. As far as their participation in the event, it’s proceeding as normal,” he said.

The Afghanistan men’s senior team is currently training in Qatar for the upcoming T20 World Cup, where it will kick-off its campaign against a qualifier in Sharjah on October 25.

Led by Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan is placed in Group 2 of T20 World Cup 2021, alongside India, New Zealand, and Pakistan. They will be joined by two other teams from the qualifier stage.

Afghanistan will begin their campaign in the showpiece event with the winner of Group B in Round 1 on October 25 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

They will later face Pakistan in Dubai on October 29 before taking on qualifier from the Round 2 on October 31 in Abu Dhabi.

They will lock horns against tournament favourites India on November 3 in Abu Dhabi before facing New Zealand in their last league game at the same venue on November 7.

At present, Afghanistan is placed at the seventh place in the ICC T20 international rankings.

Afghanistan Squad for T20 World Cup:

Mohammad Nabi (Captain), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Karim Janat, Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Usman Ghani, Naveen ul Haq, Asghar Afghan, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Qais Ahmad. Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Fareed Ahmad