Simmons Criticises at Schedule

DUBAI — Ireland qualified for Twenty20 World Cup to be held in West Indies but were beaten comprehensively by Afghanistan in the final on Saturday.

Published: Tue 16 Feb 2010, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:31 AM

Addressing a post-match press conference, the Irish coach Phil Simmons said: “We lost the first game we played here but came back well and qualified for the T20 World Cup. But unfortunately we failed to win the final.

“To play five matches in five days is ridiculous. Today we finished the match against the Netherlands and again were back on the field to face Afghanistan.

“It is really taxing and I hope the orgnisers will keep these things in mind while organising events in future.

“Our bowlers did exceptionally well in the tournament but battingfailed to click the way we wanted.

“Hats off to Afghanistan for putting up a great show and chasing 142 with ease. They are the deserved winners.”

Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan said: “The boys are good enough to perform under any conditions. Our batting was not up to the mark because the pitch had a little bit grass on it.

“But in the final we batted second and due to wet conditions the ball did not move much and our batsmen played at will to chase a fighting total of 142.

“The boys are hungry for success and some of the boys were not 100 per cent fit but played and performed splendidly. It is sheer will and determination.”

The coach added: “Afghanistan is going through endless turmoil and it is only positive news for the country. There are news that people are celebrating victory back home.

“The cricketers are ambassadors of peace and victories like this will help the youth to join the game which will be good for future of Afghanistan.

“It’s quite incredible that 18 months ago the side were winning ICC World Cricket League Division 5 and then they managed ODI status, they just missed out on the ICC Cricket World Cup and now they have just qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies. “It speaks for itself about how great an achievement it is for the side. For me personally it’s my greatest achievement as a coach so far and I am extremely proud for the team and for all of Afghanistan.”

Rais Ahmadzai said: “We have qualified for the T20 World Cup and we will give the Full Member countries a real test in the Windies. We won’t be going out there just for fun. We know to play Twenty20 very well and we will not be easy to beat.”

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