Naveen-ul-haq not playing in Asia Cup took center stage in the squad announcement on social media, drawing significant attention. Fans expressed their disappointment over not witnessing a much-anticipated contest involving Kohli and Naveen.
Afghanistan 17-member Squad
On Sunday, Afghanistan announced their 17-member squad for the 2023 Asia Cup, scheduled to commence from August 30. The tournament will be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The team has introduced four changes to the squad that participated in the recently concluded ODI series against Pakistan. However, one notable omission from the squad was Naveen-ul-Haq, which disappointed fans who were anticipating an intriguing clash between him and Virat Kohli after the controversial IPL 2023 incident. Following his exclusion, the fast bowler took to social media to share a cryptic post alluding to his snub from the Asia Cup squad.
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Who is Back in Squad?
Fareed Ahmad, Azmatullah Omarzai, Shahidullah Kamal, and Wafadar Momand, who were part of the squad for the Pakistan series, have not been selected for the ODI team participating in the upcoming Asia Cup. Conversely, players like Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, and Sharafuddin Ashraf are making their return to the squad for this continental event.
Karim Janat is set to make his return to ODI cricket after a gap since 2017. Despite this, Afghanistan is relying on his T20I experience for the Asia Cup. Najibullah Zadran, who missed the Pakistan series due to an injury, is also making a comeback. Additionally, Sharafuddin Ashraf has been included in the squad as an extra all-rounder choice.
Fans are disappointed
Nonetheless, Naveen-ul-Haq’s absence took the spotlight in the squad announcement across social media platforms. Fans expressed their disappointment about missing out on a much-anticipated showdown between the Afghan pacer and Virat Kohli. The last encounter between them was during IPL 2023, a match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants at the Ekana Stadium. The match turned sour, reportedly due to former India captain Kohli sledging Naveen while the latter was batting. This led to a heated exchange of words between the two players. After the match concluded, they shared an intense handshake, prompting Glenn Maxwell to intervene and separate them.