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T20 World Cup 2024: Hazlewood hints at strategy shift in Australia vs Scotland game to impact England's fate

Josh Hazlewood suggests Australia might manipulate their win margin over Scotland to knock England out of the T20 World Cup 2024, though Mitchell Marsh could face a ban if officials deem it deliberate. This scenario hinges on England's upcoming games against Oman and Namibia.

T20 World Cup 2024: Hazlewood hints at strategy shift in Australia vs Scotland game to impact England's fate osf
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First Published Jun 12, 2024, 10:50 PM IST

Josh Hazlewood hinted at Australia potentially manipulating the margin of victory over Scotland to knock England out of the T20 World Cup 2024. However, Mitchell Marsh could face a ban if found guilty of such actions by match officials. The exact scenarios will be clearer after England's games against Oman and Namibia. If England loses, their campaign ends. If not, Australia could ensure Scotland advances by winning narrowly enough to affect net run rates.

"In this tournament, you potentially come up against England again," Hazlewood said after Australia secured their Super Eight spot with a win over Namibia. "They're one of the top teams, and we've struggled against them in T20 cricket. If we can get them out of the tournament, it’s in our best interest and probably everyone else’s."

However, manipulating results carries risks. Marsh could be banned for up to two Super Eight matches if charged under Article 2.11 of the ICC's code of conduct, which prevents game manipulation for inappropriate strategic reasons. The code clarifies that manipulating net run rates could also lead to sanctions, with captains held responsible and potentially facing fines and suspensions.

Practically, it might be challenging for umpires to prove deliberate manipulation without obvious shifts in play. Australia’s head coach, Andrew McDonald, may rest players for the Scotland match if there's nothing at stake.

This scenario brings back memories of the 1999 ODI World Cup, where Australia attempted to manipulate outcomes with a slow batting performance against the West Indies. "Whether you get close and just knock it around and drag it out," Hazlewood suggested, "there are options, but winning confidently might be more important."

Run rates from group stages don't carry forward to the Super Eights, a point Hazlewood found odd. "It's strange that it doesn't carry through," he said. "This setup is different. The work you do in round games doesn't count for much in the Super Eights."

Namibia could render these calculations moot if they upset England in their final game. Captain Gerhard Erasmus remained neutral amid the Australia-England rivalry. "We're here to play our best cricket," he said. "We haven't reached our full potential yet, but we'll aim to perform our best."

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