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Afghanistan Not Favourites to Win WC Qualifier: Coach Simmons

IANS |March 4, 2018, 8:58 AM IST
Afghanistan Not Favourites to Win WC Qualifier: Coach Simmons

Bulawayo: In spite of impressive performances recently, Afghanistan chief coach Phil Simmons on Saturday dismissed that they are the favourites to win the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier, beginning on Sunday.

Top two teams in the qualifier will complete the 10-team line-up for next year's ICC Cricket World Cup, to be played in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.

Afghanistan are in Group B, along with Scotland, Hong Kong, Nepal and hosts Zimbabwe.

"I am not putting the 'favourites' tag on me. We have just come here to play cricket, we need to play proper cricket and win this tournament," Simmons said in an ICC statement.

"I am one of those who wants to win all the time, and I think these guys are the same. So, the more we will win, the easier it will get for us in the Super Six stage," the 54-year-old, who played in 26 Tests and 143 ODIs for the Windies from 1987 to 1999, added.

"You win the Super Six stage, you are in the World Cup as well as in the final. That's how we look at it."

Afghanistan will take on Scotland in their opening match at the Bulawayo Athletic Club on Sunday, 4 March, and Simmons admitted he was not fully satisfied with his side's performance in the warm-up matches.

"We haven't done a lot of things we wanted to do in the warm-up matches. But, at the same time, the boys have been sharp in Sharjah and I am sure the sharpness is still there, maybe a bit of jet-lag but we will get there. Hopefully, we will be able to put everything together come Sunday," he hoped.

"All of us are looking forward to the tournament. It's good that it is being held in high esteem, but you have to come out and do it. We had two good outings in the warm-up games and now it's about business. So, we are looking forward to Sunday."

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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