UAE, Scotland coaches look forward to ICC World Cup 2015

Christchurch, Feb 2: Aqib Javed, Paul Collingwood and Craig Wright are well known names in international cricket who have added an extra achievement to their names after steering their sides to the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.

The three coaches were at the helm as Scotland and the United Arab Emirates reached the final of the World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand Saturday, sealing the last two berths for the World Cup. An unbeaten century from captain and Man of the Tournament Preston Mommsen saw Scotland defeat the UAE by 41 runs in the final.

Scotland coaches Collingwood and Wright were thrilled with the result.

“I think the players have done a fantastic job and shown real level of consistency of performance, winning seven games in a row after a disappointing result in the first match. They recovered really well from that and pretty much every game after that was a must-win, so we are absolutely delighted,” said Wright, who captained Scotland in the 2007 World Cup.

Collingwood, who represented England in three World Cups (2003, 2007 and 2011) and led England to the World Twenty20 title in 2010, agreed this kind of a tournament puts a lot of pressure on players.

“To actually know what it means to an associate team to get to the World Cup through this qualifying tournament, there’s a high amount of pressure there. For them to play under that pressure and go out there and perform, I think that puts you in really good stead for the future,” said Collingwood, who played 68 Tests, 197 one-days and 35 T20Is from 2001 to 2011.

“These guys do have the skills. They’ve certainly got that with the batting, the fielding is exceptional, there might be some areas that we’ve got to work on with the bowling but it is amazing how powerful it can be if all the players go into a tournament very confident about their own games, knowing their strengths.”

UAE coach Aqib was a member of the Pakistan side that won the 1992 World Cup and also played in the 1996 edition, besides featuring in 22 Tests and 163 one-days 1989-1998. He said that the team will be ready for the challenge of competing against the best.

“Twelve months is a long time. We can make huge progress. I’m excited because they will play against Pakistan and India. They’ll be very excited playing against the players that they’ve always admired. I think by the time 2015 comes, you’ll see huge progress in UAE cricket,” said the Pakistani.

“I’ve played the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. This experience has definitely helped the team already and it will help in their progress to the World Cup. I know the nature of the different venues from Melbourne to Perth.”

IANS