Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen Ul Haq in Afghanistan squad after ‘desire to represent country’


The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had said then that the players were being pulled up for “prioritising their personal interests over playing for Afghanistan”, with the fallout including no no-objection certificates (NOCs) being issued to the trio to play in overseas T20 leagues for the next two years, and a revoking of any NOCs they currently possess. The ACB also said it “would assess and determine the involvement of these players in [international] events as necessary”.

Now, the board said, they had “approached the ACB and demonstrated a strong desire to represent their country again”. In a statement announcing the squad, the ACB said it “acknowledged and praised their eagerness to collaborate closely with the [board]”, but the investigation into the matter that the board had ordered would go ahead.

“The ACB directed the relevant committee assigned to the matter to conduct a comprehensive investigation and urged them to communicate their findings and proposed solutions to the board after thoroughly assessing the players’ requests,” the statement said.

T20I captain Rashid Khan, who had recently undergone back surgery, missed out on the UAE series, with Ibrahim Zadran standing in for him. Rashid, though, travelled with the squad as a reserve.

Renegades had said after the ACB sanctions that Mujeeb would remain at the BBL for the rest of the season. “The Melbourne Renegades are aware of the matter between Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the Afghanistan Cricket Board,” the Renegades statement had said. “The club has received no communication that Mujeeb’s availability for the BBL could change from original plans. Mujeeb remains available for the Melbourne Renegades… Mujeeb is a world-class player and a popular member of the squad, and the club will continue to support him for the rest of the BBL season.”

Mujeeb, regular on the T20 circuit, was recently picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL auction for USD 241,000. Naveen is with Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, and Farooqi, retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad, recently featured in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition. All three players also featured for Afghanistan at the 2023 World Cup.

Afghanistan’s squad for T20Is vs UAE: Ibrahim Zadran (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Mohammad Ishaq (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Sediqullah Atal, Rahmat Shah, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Azmaullah Omarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen Ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem and Qais Ahmad
Reserves: Rashid Khan, Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai, Ikram Alikhil and Gulbadin Naib

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