Mohammad Shahzad    AFP
Mohammad Shahzad AFP

Following a 12-month suspension, Mohammad Shahzad is back into the fore. Ahead of Afghanistan‘s limited-overs series versus Zimbabwe, the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman has been roped into the 15-man squad for both ODIs and T20Is. Shahzad was banned by ICC for violating an anti-doping rule, and his suspension was backdated to January 17, 2017 date of his sample collection. As a result, the 29-year-old will be available from January 17, 2018.

Backdrop

Shahzad pleaded guilty to the doping charges but managed to convince the governing body that he had taken the substance ‘unintentionally’ to reduce weight. Once the ICC was sure that he had not taken the substance for any performance booster, a year-long ban was imposed. Since then, Afghanistan have been granted the coveted Test status, drew their maiden ODI series on Caribbean soil and lost their maiden bilateral series versus Ireland in 2017 end.

Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will commence the short series with two T20Is from February 5 and 6. The ODIs will last from February 9 to February 19. Asghar Stanikzai will continue to lead in both formats. Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib and Samiullah Shinwari would like to add to the squad’s strength. In addition, Aftab Alam and Hamid Hasaan make a comeback as well.

Squads

ODIs

Asghar Stanikzai(c), Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah,Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Nasir Jamal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran and Shapoor Zadran

T20Is

Asghar Stanikzai(c), Mohammad Shahzad, Usman Ghani, Karim Sadiq, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Samiullah Shinwari, Aftab Alam, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran