Wellington - A New Zealand robot has predicted minnows Afghanistan will win the upcoming Cricket World Cup, although even the machine's programmer admits such a shock result is unlikely.
The University of Canterbury's robot Ikram made the prediction using software developed by doctorate student Eduardo Sandoval.
When the flags of the 14 participating nations were placed in front of the robot it selected Afghanistan, who are playing their first World Cup and drawn in a tough pool including Australia, England and New Zealand.
"Of course this is unlikely, but with cricket the result can always be unexpected," Sandoval said.
New Zealand bookmakers do not share the robot's views and have Afghanistan as 1 000-1 outsiders to win the tournament, with Australia favourites at 3-1.