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KABUL: Ace spinner Rashid Khan was named on Sunday in Afghanistan’s 16-member squad for the one-day international series against Pakistan.

The sides will contest their first-ever bilateral series in Sri Lanka as they prepare for the Asia Cup later this month and the ODI World Cup in October.

The 24-year-old – regarded as the world’s top spinner in white ball cricket – featured in the Major League Twenty20 event in the United States but last week withdrew from The Hundred in the UK with an unspecified injury.

Also returning to Afghanistan’s squad to supplement Rashid in the spin attack is teenage left-armer Noor Ahmad.

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief selector Asadullah Khan said the team is gearing up for the upcoming big events.

“This three-match ODI series against Pakistan provides us with a wonderful opportunity to prepare the team for the forthcoming two events,” Khan said in a statement released by the ACB.

The first two ODIs will be played in Hambantota on August 22 and 24, with the third in Colombo on August 26.

The Asia Cup starts on August 30 with four matches in Pakistan and the remaining nine in Sri Lanka, while the World Cup runs from October 5 to November 19 in India.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have so far contested four ODIs, including two encounters at the Asia Cup and one at the 2019 World Cup.

Squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ikram Alikhil, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Mohammad Saleem Safi, Wafadar Momand

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