Mott downplays Hazlewood’s ‘knock out England’ talk-rummybo

England coach Matthew Mott said he hopes Josh Hazlewood’s comments that Australia might look to secure only a narrow victory over Scotland that would see England knocked out of the T20 World Cup were tongue in cheek.

England’s Group B opener against Scotland was washed out and after losing to Australia the defending champions must win their remaining two matches to go level on points with the Scots, who have a significantly superior net run-rate.

While Australia are overwhelming favourites in their final group match on Saturday, Hazlewood said they would welcome a narrow win that would end England’s title defence.

“I am very much hoping it was an off-hand remark by a really good bloke who is having fun,” Australian Mott told BBC Sport.

“Knowing Josh, he has got a pretty dry sense of humour.

“I am hoping it was very much tongue in cheek.”

Talking to reporters after Australia secured one of the group’s two spots in the Super Eight stage, Hazlewood said they would be happy to eliminate England in the group phase to avoid meeting them later in the tournament rummy bo.

Asked how Australia could do that in the match against Scotland, Hazlewood said: “Not too sure really, whether you get close and just knock it around and drag it out.”

While Hazlewood’s captain Mitchell Marsh would be at risk of a two-match suspension and a fine if they were found guilty of manipulating the score, former Australia test skipper Tim Paine backed the idea.

“I’m dead serious. You don’t have to lose the game, just let Scotland get close enough,” he said on SEN Radio.

“… if you can knock out one of the most highly fancied teams in the tournament and do it in a way that’s not too bad, or you’re not going to be losing a game, then I’m all for it.”

They’ve got wonderful squad of players: Joe Root hails Team England ahead of their Oman clash

Former England skipper Joe Root backed the Three Lions before their clash against Oman in the T20 World Cup 2024 and said that they have a wonderful squad of players.

Speaking to Sky Sports Cricket, Root believed that England will be fine in their upcoming and that they know what they have to do in the marquee event.

“I think they’ll be absolutely fine, they’ve got a wonderful squad of players. They know exactly what they need to do. When it’s all laid out and they’ve got their backs to the wall, which they have in this situation now, is when they play their best cricket. It could really bring the best out of them, so I’ve got no worries whatsoever,” Root was quoted by Sky Sports as saying.

Root added that if England do what they are capable of doing then they will confirm their place in the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup 2024 rummybo.

“If they go out and do what they all know that they’re capable of doing, we’ll be finding ourselves in the Super 8s and the back-end of the tournament where it really matters to play our best stuff,” he added.
The Three Lions will face off against Oman in the T20 World Cup 2024 clash at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

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