Rashid out of first two ODIs against Sri Lanka with lower-back injury

Rashid Khan bowls in the nets AFP/Getty Images

Rashid Khan has been ruled out of the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka with a lower-back injury. The Afghanistan Cricket Board stated that "he will remain under full medical observation, and is expected to return for the final ODI on June 7".

The three-match series begins on June 2, with the second game to be played two days later at the same ground. Just seven days after the ODI series, Afghanistan are scheduled to play a one-off Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram.

Rashid was recently involved in the IPL, where his side Gujarat Titans lost the final to Chennai Super Kings on Monday night. He was the tournament's joint second-highest wicket-taker with 27 strikes.

In Rashid's absence, Mohammad Nabi and Noor Ahmad will have to shoulder extra responsibility in the spin department.

Noor also had a successful IPL stint for Titans, grabbing 16 wickets from 13 games at an economy of 7.82. However, he has played only one ODI and one T20I for Afghanistan.

Last month, Afghanistan announced a strong 15-member squad, led by Hashmatullah Shahidi, for the Sri Lanka ODIs.

Having sealed direct qualification for the upcoming ODI World Cup, Afghanistan will be looking at this series to get their preparations going for the marquee event. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will treat it as a build-up for the Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe, starting on June 18.