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Posted at: Feb 11, 2015, 2:28 AM; last updated: Feb 11, 2015, 2:26 AM (IST)QUICK SINGLES

Robot picks Afghanistan to win World Cup

Of all, a robot has picked first-timers Afghanistan to win the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Afghanistan are 1000-1 in betting odds to win the tournament. The prediction was made by University of Canterbury’s robot, named Ikram, after viewing the 14 competing countries’ flags. Eduardo Sandoval, a University of Canterbury HITLab PhD student, has developed the robot’s prediction software. “Of course, this is very unlikely, but with cricket the outcome can always be unexpected,” Sandoval said. Sandoval said Paul the Octopus who made predictions for the 2010 Football World Cup, inspired him to test Ikram’s powers of prediction.

Sub-continent bowlers will find it tough: Akram  

Having represented Pakistan in five World Cup campaigns, legendary pacer Wasim Akram feels that it will be a challenge for sub-continent bowlers to perform in Australia and New Zealand. “I am not trying to create any fear, but the World Cup 2015 will be a big challenge for the bowlers, especially those from the sub-continent,” Akram wrote in his ICC column. “They need to be extra fit to cope up with the pitches in Australia and by that I mean that they will need to have a strong back.”

World Cup: Sledgers to face match ban

The ICC will crack down on excessive sledging between players at the World Cup, saying first offenders can expect heavier fines while repeat offenders face suspension from matches. ICC chief executive David Richardson also said players with already poor records could face immediate match ban. — Agencies

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