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Simmons optimistic as Afghans meet Scots today

Simmons optimistic as Afghans meet Scots today

Mar 04, 2018 - 09:07

KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan and Scotland are all set to open their World Cup qualifying campaign in Zimbabwe today (Sunday), with both sides looking determined to win.

On the eve of the qualifier for next year's ICC Cricket World Cup, which will be played in England, Afghanistan chief coach Phil Simmons sounded optimistic.

In an interview, he dispelled the impression that Afghanistan were the favourites to win the match. Afghanistan are placed in Group B along with Scotland, Hong Kong, Nepal and 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. 

The 54-year-old, who played in 26 Tests and 143 ODIs for the West Indies, said he wanted to win all the time. And the more they would win, the easier it would become for them in the Super Six stage.

"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," he said ahead of the Afghan-Scot encounter at the Bulawayo Athletic Club. 

The two teams finding their way to the final will earn spots at the 2019 World Cup, hosted by England and Wales.

For his part, Scotland head coach Grant Bradburn said: "Preparations have gone really well and we are really looking forward to getting stuck into game one.

“Afghanistan are a good team, with match-winners, so we'll have huge respect for them. But we've done our homework and we'll certainly have no fear. We've beaten them before.

Group A consists of Ireland, the West Indies, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Papua New Guinea.