Gulbadin Naib is a right-handed batsman who bowls right-arm fast-medium. Born in 1991 in central Logar province he made his debut for Afghanistan against Canada in Toronto, in August 2011 in a One Day International (ODI).
His first debut for T20 was against Netherlands in Dubai in March 2012.
Later in 2011, he played for the newly formed Afghan Cheetahs team in the Faysal Bank Twenty-20 Cup 2011-12, making three appearances in the tournament, against Rawalpindi Rams, Faisalabad Wolves and Multan Tigers.
He scored his maiden Twenty20 half century during this tournament, scoring 68 runs from 42 balls against Faisalabad Wolves.
In December 2011, his score of 57 runs from 50 balls in the final of the 2011 ACC Twenty20 Cup helped Afghanistan to an eight run victory over Hong Kong, securing Afghanistan their third ACC Twenty20 Cup title.
Naib later featured in Afghanistan’s first ODI against a Full Member Test-playing nation when they played Pakistan at Sharjah in February 2012. Naib scored 7 runs in the match, before becoming one of Shahid Afridi’s five wickets. Pakistan won the encounter by 7 wickets.
He was selected as part of Afghanistan’s fourteen man squad for the 2012 World Twenty20 Qualifier held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2012.
It was during this tournament that Naib made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut against the Netherlands. He made two further T20I appearances in the tournament, as well as subsequently playing a further six Twenty20 matches against nations in the qualifier who themselves did not hold Twenty20 International status. He scored 86 runs in the qualifier, at an average of 13.50, with a high score of 26 not out. Shortly after the tournament, he featured in two ODIs against the Netherlands in the World Cricket League Championship.
In July 2012, Naib was selected as part of Afghanistan’s squad for their tour of Ireland as part of their Intercontinental Cup commitments.
He played in both of the team’s World Cricket League Championship ODIs against Ireland, though the first match was abandoned due to rain, while in the second match he claimed his maiden ODI wicket when he dismissed Niall O’Brien. With the bat he scored 19 runs from 23 balls before being dismissed by George Dockrell, with Ireland winning the match by 59 runs.
He also made his first-class debut during the Intercontinental Cup fixture, which saw Naib dismissed for 13 runs in his only innings of the match by Alex Cusack, while in Ireland’s first-innings he took the wicket of Andrew Balbirnie to finish with figures of 1/33 from six overs.
In August 2012, Naib featured in Afghanistan’s second ODI against a full-member nation when they played Australia at Sharjah. In Australia’s first-innings of 272/8, he bowled two overs which conceded 18 runs, though during the innings he did effect the run out of David Hussey.
In Afghanistan’s chase, he scored a quickfire 22 from 17 balls, which included three sixes, before he was dismissed by James Pattinson, with Australia winning by 66 runs. During the match, he was named in Afghanistan’s squad for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September 2012. He scored 44 against England, and was the only Afghan batsman to pass double figures as the English won by 119 runs.
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