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In the first ODI of the two-match series against Ireland, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib won the toss and decided to bowl first. All eyes will be on Naib as this is the first tournament he leads his side in before the much-anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 begins on 30 May.
The weather gods in Belfast are happy as there were no signs of rain till the toss. However, it is difficult to guarantee a rain-free contest in this part of the world. The conditions are definitely overcast and the ball will surely do the talking throughout the innings.
Afghanistan XI: Mohammad Shahzad(w), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib(c), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam
Ireland XI: Paul Stirling, James McCollum, Andrew Balbirnie, William Porterfield(c), Kevin O Brien, Mark Adair, Gary Wilson(w), George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin
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While the ICC has maintained silence over the matter, reports suggest that the sporting body’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and his team have come under the scanner.
Looking at the Indian squad, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led unit will miss two of their enforcers- batter Shefali Verma and wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh. Both of them are now serving the junior team in the inaugural edition of the ICC U-19 Women's T20 World Cup.
CA's decision comes after the Taliban imposed new restrictions on the education and employment of women and girls.