Afghan cricketers leave for Sri Lanka
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan's national cricket team has left for Sari Lanka to play friendly matches there ahead of their trip to Canada, where the 2011-13 ICC Intercontinental Cup is scheduled to begin in August, an official said on Monday.
The defending champions Afghanistan will take on Canada in the opening game for both teams in the Intercontinental Cup. The game will be played in Canada from August 2-5. The teams will also play two ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals.
Though first-time participants, Afghanistan were surprise winners of the 2009-10 edition of the tournament, beating Scotland in the final after topping the points table.
Their finest hour during the league stages came when they chased down 474 against Canada for the loss of just four wickets. That match was emblematic of Canada's season as they struggled to convert early advantages into wins and finished last in the table.
An official of Afghanistan Cricket Board, Farid Hotak, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Monday the national team left for Sari Lankan capital Colombo on Sunday.
The side included 15 players, three coaches, a doctor and the manger, he said.
Hotak said a Pakistani national, Iqbal Sikander, had been appointed as the chief coach after Rashid Latif's resignation.
The side would stay for 15 days in Colombo playing friendly matches with the hosts in the lead up to Canada tournament.
The side is: Nawroz Mangal (Captain), Nabi Esakhel, (vice captain), Karim Siddiqui, Mirwais Ashraf, Nor Ali Zadran, Shehzad Moahmmadi, Hamid Hassan, Asghar Stanikzai, Shahpur Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Daulat Zadran, Shabir Noori, Gulbadin Naeb, Izatullah Dualatzai and Hamza Hotak.
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