Afghanistan cricket coach backs team to directly qualify for 2015 World Cup
Sydney: The coach of Afghanistan national cricket team is backing its players to secure back-to-back wins over Kenya in Sharjah on Wednesday and Friday and seal direct qualification for a maiden berth at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Afghanistan, which is fourth in the eight-team World Cricket League with 15 points from 12 matches, and the United Arab Emirates (18 points) are still able to grab the second and final automatic qualifying spot as leaders Ireland has already secured their place in 2015 with 24 points.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Afghan coach Kabir Khan said that it is necessary for the team to qualify directly and start preparing for the World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, adding that there would be extra pressure on the players to go to New Zealand for another round of qualification if they fail to do that.
However, Khan also said he is confident that Afghanistan would perform well in the do-or-die matches against Kenya because of the constant pressure they had faced, after winning only three of the opening eight matches.
The report mentioned that Afghanistan must beat Kenya in their remaining internationals on October 2 and 4 for maximum points to seize second spot.
The bottom six League teams receive a second chance at next year`s qualifier in New Zealand, when they play Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Uganda for the final two spots in the flagship 50-over tournament, the report added.