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    15-man Afghan squad for T20 WC confirmed

    KABUL (PAN): The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday confirmed cricket squads of participating nations, including Afghanistan, for its Twenty20 World Cup scheduled to begin in Sri Lanka on September 18.

    Afghanistan and Ireland have qualified for the event that will start in Hambantota when the hosts will take on Zimbabwe.

    Afghanistan Cricket Board is yet to verify the Afghan squad named by the ICC in its lists.

    The squad is: Nawroz Mangal (c), Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Izzatullah Dawlatzai, Karim Sadeq, Mohammad Jawed Ahmadi, Mohd Nasim Baras, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Asghar Stanikzai, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Shapur Zadran.

    Hamid Hassan, who took 12 wickets in Afghanistan's qualification for the World Twenty20 held in the West Indies in 2010, has been picked in the 15-man squad for next month's World Twenty20.

    The 25-year-old underwent a knee operation and since struggled with fitness problems. ACB officials say Hassan is recovering fast and will attain full fitness before the tournament starts on September 18.

    Placed in Group A along with England and India, Afghanistan will play Trinidad and Tobago and Bangladesh in a Twenty20 tri-series early next month before competing in the event.

    He took two wickets for an ICC Combined XI against England in a three-day match in Dubai in January before hurting his knee. He has so far taken 24 wickets in 14 one-dayers and an impressive 14 in eight Twenty20 matches.

    Afghanistan lost both their matches in the 2010 World Twenty20 to India and South Africa.

    Former national team member Hasti Gul Abid said though the squad was useful, yet at least two of them needed to be replaced with spin bowlers.  He also criticised the inclusion of Shah Pur Zadran, saying he was not fit for Twenty20s. 

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