Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad: Who made the cut?

Among all the sub-continental teams, one side that has the most outrageous spin bowling attack and can dominate any SENA nation in Indian conditions is Afghanistan. In this World Cup, Afghanistan will really fancy their chances of creating inroads, given that the pitches will suit their style of play. Read on as we look into the Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad. 

Afghanistan is currently poised at No. 8 in the ICC Men's ODI ranking, sitting above Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Afghanistan players have experience playing franchise T20s across the globe, and this might just help them handle pressure better in the 2023 World Cup. Afghanistan recently played against Pakistan in a bilateral series followed by the Asia Cup.

Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad

Let’s scan the list of players who are selected in the Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad.

Specialist batsmen

The following are the specialist batters in the Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad:

  1. Ibrahim Zadran

Ibrahim Zadran is in the form of his life in 2023. Having scored 316 runs in just six innings at an unbelievable average of 63.20, Zadran has cemented his place at the top of the order for Afghanistan. The 21-year-old batter already has four centuries in just 14 international ODI innings.

  1. Hashmatullah Shahidi 

A seasoned campaigner for Afghanistan and their captain, who has been a part of the ODI squad since 2013, Hasmatullah Shahidi has had a decent year with 270 runs in 11 innings. The strike rate of around 70.97 is a concern, and Shahidi might have to up the ante if Afghanistan wants to put 300+ runs on the board in 50 overs.

  1. Rahmat Shah

Another experienced chap, Rahmat Shah, similar to Shahidi, has been in and out of the team since 2013. In 2022, he smothered 617 runs in 12 innings but hasn’t been able to emulate the same in 2023, where his average has dropped to just 20.66 in nine innings. Given the lack of experience in the top four, Shah would still find a place to balance the squad.

  1. Najibullah Zadran

Najibullah Zadran joins the duo of Shahidi and Rahmat to make it a trio of three experienced middle-order batters for Afghanistan. Having played 88 matches, Zadran has seen the best of both worlds. Though he had a very poor average of 13.16 in 2023 with just 79 runs in eight innings, Zadran can still be the stabiliser in the middle overs if wickets fall upfront.

  1. Riaz Hassan

A very young right-handed batter, Riaz Hassan was roped into Afghanistan’s squad for the ODI series against Pakistan and, in all likelihood, will be a backup batter in the middle order. Riaz has only played two matches this year and has scored 34 runs with an average of 34.

Afghanistan's batting unit looks all but settled and we do not expect a surprise.

Wicket keepers

Here are the Afghanistan wicketkeeping options:

  1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz

The pocket dynamo, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, is leading a new generation of Afghanistan batters. Averaging 34.18 in 2023, Gurbaz has scored 376 runs in just 11 innings. His ball-striking ability can take the game away from the opponents in a matter of a few overs. He will also be the wicketkeeper for the side, given the poor form of Ikram Alikhil.

  1. Ikram Alikhil

Ikram recently made his ODI comeback after a gap of two years. Ikram, who has scored 238 runs in 14 innings, he might just be a backup keeper for Gurbaz for a long tournament like the World Cup.

All rounders

Afghanistan have plenty of all-rounders to choose from for their 2023 World Cup squad, and these are the one we say will make the cut:

  1. Azmatullah Omarzai

Azmatullah Omarzai is the seam bowling all-rounder for Afghanistan. Omarzai's primary skill is bowling. He has picked up a total of six wickets in his international ODI career while conceding runs at just 4.93 runs per over.

  1. Mohammad Nabi

The golden man of Afghanistan, Mohammad Nabi, needs no introduction. The batting all-rounder will be a gem in Indian conditions, as his off-spin will be lethal against left-handed batters. The all-rounder has played a mammoth 147 ODI matches for Afghanistan and averages 27.18 with 3153 runs under his kitty. Nabi also has an ODI hundred against his name. Nabi, the off-break bowler, is terror for the opposition. With a remarkable 154 ODI wickets against his tally and an ever-so-economic economy rate of 4.29, Mohammad Nabi would walk into the Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad.

  1. Rashid Khan

The right arm-leg break bowling all-rounder Rashid Khan has broken the backs of many greats over the years. Though he has had very limited opportunities with the bat this year, his batting powers have been witnessed by one and all in the IPL, BBL, and all franchise leagues across the globe.

Rashid Khan’s 10 overs with the ball will be like a gold mine for Afghanistan. Rashid's ODI bowling average is a mind-boggling 19.53, with a total of 172 wickets in just 94 matches. If that wasn’t awe-dropping enough, Rashid has an even better economy rate of just 4.21 in ODI cricket.

Specialist bowlers

Those bowlers making the Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad could be:

  1. Noor Ahmad (spinner)

Another Afghanistan mystery bowler, Noor Ahmad, is a sure thing in the Afghanistan ODI World Cup squad. The left-arm chinaman bowler brings in much-needed variety and can bamboozle any good batter on the spin-friendly tracks of India. Though Noor has only played two matches in 2023, he already has two wickets against his name.

  1. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (spinner)

The right-arm mystery bowler, Mujeeb, has 93 wickets under his belt in just 66 matches so far. The 22-year-old can also open the bowling and pick wickets up front. Rahman, Noor, and Rashid might be the deadliest spin trio for Afghanistan.

  1. Fazalhaq Farooqi

Farooqi is a left-arm fast bowler. In 2023, Farooqi will have already picked up 15 wickets in just 11 matches. Farooqi has a well-disguised slower delivery and yorker to deceive the batters. He also had an impressive Asia Cup 2022, where he almost won the game for Afghanistan against Pakistan.

     4. Abdul Rahman

Abdul Rahman is a part of the Afghanistan squad for the World Cup. He made his ODI debut when Afghanistan toured Bangladesh for a bilateral ODI series. In three matches, Rahman has picked up one wicket.

    5. Naveen-ul-Haq

Naveen-ul-Haq made a comeback to the Afghan ODI setup after a gap of more than two and half years. In seven ODIs thus far, Naveen has picked up 14 wickets. He has been a regular in the Afghan T20I setup over the last couple of years.

Zia-ur-Rehman was another candidate to make Afghanistan’s ODI World Cup squad in 2023 but as they already had spinners, he was ignored.

Probable Afghanistan ODI World Cup 2023 playing 11

Afghanistan could pick their ODI World Cup playing 11 as follows:

  1. Ibrahim Zadran
  2. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper)
  3. Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain)
  4. Rahmat Shah
  5. Najibullah Zadran
  6. Mohammad Nabi
  7. Rashid Khan
  8. Amatullah Omarzai/Mujeeb Ur Rahman
  9. Noor Ahmad
  10. Fazalhaq Farooqi
  11. Fareed Ahmad
Afghanistan ODI World Cup Squad

Overall, Afghanistan can be a very dangerous team, especially if their batters are able to put over 300 runs on the board. Their top order consists of Gurbaz and Zadran, who can spear away any bowling attack. The only concern for them will be their ageing middle-order batters, along with their captain, Shahidi, who hasn’t been in the best of form.

The deadly spin-trio of Rashid, Noor, and Mujeeb, clubbed with the part-time spin of Nabi, will be worth gold. Afghanistan needs to up the ante in the fielding department, which has led to their undoing in the last couple of World Cups. 

The experience of Nabi and Rashid will be immense for the Afghanistan team, and if they are able to hold onto their nerves in clutch situations, they can very well cause more than a couple of upsets in the World Cup with the kind of bowling they have.

Bren GrayBren Gray

Bren is our resident Kiwi, and has been playing or watching sports down under in New Zealand for the better part of three decades. With 12+ years' experience as a professional writer, Bren loves to dive deep into all things cricket to bring the best betting analysis, predictions and news here at