One of those to have seen Afghanistan’s rise up the international cricketing ladder from within, Noor Ali Zadran’s inclusion in his country’s World Cup squad might be considered something of a surprise.
The batsman has only played one ODI since December 2017 and holds a modest average in the mid-20s across almost 50 matches heading into the tournament in England.
That said, he has certainly been part of the Afghan side during some of the more memorable moments in their extraordinary recent history.
Debuting in 2007, in a T20 against Oman, when Afghanistan were some way down cricket’s pecking order, he was involved in promotion to World Cricket League Division 2 and the subsequent World Cup Qualifier.
The 30-year-old has hit a century and seven further fifties for his country in one-day internationals, as of April 2019, and brings a sense of experience to the dressing room.
Citing Ricky Ponting as his cricketing inspiration, Zadran is the uncle of promising mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman.
A wristy batsman, strong off his pads in particular, he can be often found playing an anchor role in an innings - illustrated, perhaps, by his ODI strike rate, which only just hovers above 60 across his career.
Welcome to www.thecricketer.com - the online home of the world’s oldest cricket magazine. Breaking news, interviews, opinion and cricket goodness from every corner of our beautiful sport, from village green to national arena.