Afghanistan’s spinning trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, who are currently involved in the Big Bash League (BBL), were named in their national side’s 16-member squad for the three-match series against Ireland, to be taking place in Oman later this month.

The announcement meant, the Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat could potentially miss the services of their resepective overseas import for the business end of the tournament and subsequently the finals, if any of those sides make it to the Top-5.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Saturday announced the team, which will be led by senior batsman Asghar Afghan, with Rashid being named his deputy. The series, which was slated to be hosted in Abu Dhabi, will now take place in Oman, due to visa issues.

Starting from January 18, the three-match ODI series will end on January 23 and 14-day mandatory quarantines in Australia mean the trio will not make in time for the finals of the BBL as the league stage ends on January 26, with the final being played on February 6.

ACB’s director of cricket Raees Ahmadzai has said that the players involved in the Big Bash League will return for the ODI series and have been denied to opt-out of the series, since it forms the part of the World Cup Super League, which is a qualifying route for the 2023 World Cup.

The unavailability of Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb will be a big blow for their respective sides, since all three of them are not just important cog in the wheels of their sides, but also are the star overseas players in the league.

While the Renegades have the 16-year old Noor Ahmad as a replacement for Nabi, Strikers and Heat will feel the absence of Rashid and Mujeeb respectively, more since both have been in scintillating forms. Rashid has impressed everyone with his all-round game, Mujeeb apart from taking a fifer, has bowled economically and has given his side important breakthroughs.

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