Phil Simmons looking for World Cup spot

Phil Simmons

Phil Simmons   | Photo Credit: AP


The Afghanistan coach focuses on taking his side to England

Phil Simmons insisted that leading Afghanistan to the 2019 World Cup in England, and not exacting revenge over the West Indies, was his top priority when the 10-team qualifying tournament gets underway on Sunday.

The groups
  • Group A: West Indies, The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Ireland, UAE.
  • Group B: Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Nepal, Hong Kong.
  • Sunday’s matches: Ireland v Netherlands, PNG v UAE; Zimbabwe v Nepal, Afghanistan v Scotland.

Simmons, who played 26 Tests and 143 ODIs for the West Indies from 1987 to 1999, was sacked as coach of the Caribbean side in 2016, just five months after leading it to the World T20 title in India.

His sacking had been preceded by a suspension the previous year for publicly criticising the West Indies selection policy.

Phil Simmons looking for World Cup spot

Simmons, 54, took over the reins of Afghanistan in December and his mission was to get the newly-minted Test team to a second successive World Cup in England and Wales next year.

Afghanistan takes on Scotland in its opening match at Bulawayo on Sunday, with Simmons playing down his team’s status as one of the favourites to reach the final.

“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,” said Simmons, who has plenty of “inside knowledge” of his opponents.

As well as West Indies, the former all-rounder has coached hosts Zimbabwe and enjoyed a successful eight-year spell in charge of Ireland with whom he reached two World Cups.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:32:12 AM |

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