Pacer returns after a two-year absence as Afghanistan names their World Cup team.

Afghanistan has named a strong 15-man roster for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which begins next month.

After a two-year absence, Naveen-ul-Haq returns to the Afghanistan ODI team for the World Cup in India, while experienced all-rounder Gulbadin Naib misses out despite a strong showing in the present Asia Cup.

Hashmatullah Shahidi’s team has four changes from the group that competed in the Asia Cup. Apart from Naib, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, and Suliman Safi are also absent.

Azmatullah Omarzai returns following an injury that kept him out of the Asia Cup, and Naveen, who last played a List A game in 2021, also returns.

Naveen has only played seven One-Day Internationals, taking 14 wickets at an average of 25.42. Janat was dropped after being summoned for the Asia Cup following a six-year absence from ODI cricket.

Meanwhile, Naib shined in his ODI comeback against Pakistan, taking the openers in the third and final ODI, and then grabbed a four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, but was left out of the squad.

The rest of the team has a familiar appearance, with the spin department filled with some exceptional talent. The squad also includes Mujeeb ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad, in addition to experienced spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi.

The return of Naveen strengthens the pace assault, which also includes Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, and Omarzai.

Afghanistan’s World Cup team is as follows:: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq.

Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, and Farid Ahmad Malik are the reserves.