Zahir, Shirzad called up to Afghanistan Test squad

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 12, 2019 22:02 hrs

[UAE], Mar 12 (ANI): Left-arm wrist-spinner Zahir Khan and left-arm seamer Sayed Shirzad have been added to Afghanistan's squad for their maiden Test match against Ireland.

The one-off Test is slated to begin in Dehradun on March 15.

20-year-old Zahir made his full international debut for Afghanistan in the final ODI of the drawn series against Ireland. In spite of returning with 2/55, Zahir has been in and around the side.

The left-arm wrist-spinner represented Afghanistan in the International Cup in 2015. He took 7/69 on first-class debut against Papua New Guinea and was part of the squad that played the Under-19 World Cup semi-final last year. Zahir's current first-class record of 34 wickets from seven games at an average of 13.14.

Zahir has also played for Lancashire in England's T20 Blast. However, an injury prevented him from making his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut last season for Rajasthan Royals.

Afghanistan management monitored his progress before adding Zahir to the squad.

Shirzad, on the other hand, has played four T20Is and made his ODI debut during the Ireland series. He has collected 49 wickets from 15 games at an average of 25.38 in first-class.

“Both Zahir Khan and Sayed Shirzad have very good bowling records in first-class cricket and have played in the ICC Intercontinental Cup for Afghanistan,” ICC quoted chief selector Dawlat Ahmadzi, as saying.

“We were awaiting Zahir’s fitness report when announcing the initial 14-member Test squad and now that he is fully fit, we have decided to add him to the squad. Sayed Shirzad is added as an additional pacer in the squad to have another bowling option if needed,” added Ahmadzi. (ANI)