New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI): Star spinner Rashid Khan will be sidelined for Afghanistan's opening two matches of the three-ODI series against Sri Lanka due to a lower back injury.
Rashid Khan is set to miss the first two ODIs of the series against Sri Lanka but is expected to return for the third and final match, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) confirmed.
The team physio's assessment stated, "Rashid will remain under full medical observation and is expected to return for the final ODI on June 7."The three-match series will commence on June 2 with all games set to be played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota.
Rashid recently featured in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Gujarat Titans where he played a crucial role in their journey to the finals, finishing the tournament with the joint second-highest wickets (27). The Hardik Pandya-led side fell short in the final hurdle against Chennai Super Kings.
Hashmatullah Shahidi is set to lead Afghanistan in the ODI series against Sri Lanka and will be banking on Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi to make up for Rashid's absence.
Afghanistan will travel to Bangladesh a week after the Sri Lanka series for an all-format tour, starting with a one-off Test in Chattogram on 14 June.
The ODI series will be crucial for Sri Lanka as they prepare for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka named a strong 15-member squad for the Afghanistan series with Dimuth Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera and Sadeera Samarawickrama all returning to the ODI setup after a long gap.
The former World Cup champions have been placed in Group B in the Qualifier alongside Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, with their campaign kicking off on 19 June against UAE. (ANI)