T20 World Cup 2024 | Tim Paine urges Australia to 'manipulate' Scotland game, eliminate England

Defending champions England find themselves in a precarious spot after a washed out game and a heavy defeat against Australia, who have qualified for the Super Eights.
Last Updated : 12 June 2024, 10:08 IST

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Melbourne: Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine wants Mitchell Marsh and Co. to "manipulate" their final group game against Scotland to ensure that England are knocked out of the T20 World Cup.

Defending champions England find themselves in a precarious spot after a washed out game and a heavy defeat against Australia, who have qualified for the Super Eights.

"Absolutely they should (manipulate the result) and I’m not even joking. I've spoken to people about this in the last few days. I'm dead serious," Paine said on Sen Radio.

As things stand in Group B, England are fourth with just a point and -1.800 Net Run Rate. They have two more games left. Even if they win both their games they can't overtake Scotland, who are second with five points and a healthy +2.164 NRR.

In order to progress to the Super Eights, Jos Buttler and Co. not only have to win both their remaining games by heavy margins but also hope familiar foes and table leaders Australia hand Scotland a huge defeat to dent the Scots' NRR.

Paine clarified that he doesn't want Australia to lose the match but rather make it close enough for England to be eliminated.

"I'm not sure what the net run rate looks like, you don't have to lose the game, I think they can just let Scotland get close enough."

"Again, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, Scotland could have a day out. But say Scotland batted first and got to 140 and we chased it off 19.5 overs to make sure they don’t suffer a big net run rate loss.

"I think England have to win both of their games by about 50 runs to even get up towards Scotland's net run rate. So, it's certainly plausible that you can win the game (but still ensure England don’t progress)," he added.

The former wicketkeeper batter sees this as a "smart, calculated" move that may help Australia later in the tournament.

"That's not just because it's England. You got to go into these tournaments trying to win a World Cup. Who could certainly pose a threat in the latter rounds? That is England." Despite the bad start, Paine feels England have the capability to turn things around and defend their title.

"There's no doubt they are still one of the best teams in the world, they got off to a horrible start and now it’s in our hands.

"If you could knock out one of the most highly fancied teams in the tournament and do it in a way that's you're not deliberately losing a game, I'm all for it.

"You're manipulating the net run rates a little bit... you can say whatever you want to say, but to me, it is smart, calculated, tournament play.

“We're there to win a World Cup. I wouldn't want to play England in the semifinal. They've got six or seven guys that could take a game away from you, much like Australia do.

“If you can have a side like that not go through to the next phase, it makes the World Cup easier for you to win.” he added.

Knock out England for best interest: Josh

Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood also acknowledged the potential benefit in hindering England's progress and said it would serve "best interest" for all teams.

"Yeah, I think so. In this tournament you potentially come up against England at some stage again," Hazlewood said in the media interaction after their big nine-wicket win over Namibia in North Sound.

"They're probably one of the top few teams on their day and we've had some real struggles against them in T20 cricket so if we can get them out of the tournament that's in our best interest as well as probably everyone else." Hazlewood however suggested that the team's approach will remain unchanged, leaving decisions about game 'manipulation' to others.

"But yeah, it'll be interesting to see. We've never really been in this position before as a team I don't think, so whether we have discussions or not, we'll just try and play it again the way we did tonight. Yeah, that'll be up to people, not me."

Published 12 June 2024, 10:08 IST

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