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'In our best interest' to see England suffer early exit, says Hazlewood

Cricket 2024-06-12, 11:38pm

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North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, 12 June - Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood believes "it's in our best interest" to see defending champions and bitter rivals England suffer an early exit at the T20 World Cup, refusing to rule out manipulating the system to achieve their aim.

Australia have already secured their place in the second round Super Eights with three wins in three matches in Group B.

England have just one point from two games and need to win their remaining two matches to have any chance of joining the Australians in the next phase.

Scotland are currently second with five points and set to grab the remaining Super Eights spot.

Australia and Scotland, who crucially have a vastly superior net run-rate to England, meet on Sunday at St Lucia.

"In this tournament you potentially come up against England at some stage again and they're probably one of the top few teams on their day," said Hazlewood after Australia cruised past Namibia by nine wickets on Tuesday.

"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.

"It'll be interesting to see. We've never really been in this position before as a team."

Hazlewood insists Australia will go for a group clean-sweep by beating Scotland but with the temptation to help the Scots preserve their superior run rate over England.

"Whether you get close and you just knock it around and drag it out. There's a few options there," he added.

Australia defeated England by 36 runs in their pool clash in Barbados last weekend after also seeing off Oman by 39 runs at the same venue.

England's game with Scotland, also at Bridgetown, was abandoned.

The Scots then clinched convincing wins over Namibia and Oman.

"We take confidence from winning and winning well, I think that's almost more important than potentially trying to knock someone else out," said Hazlewood.

"They've still got a lot to do on their behalf as well, so I think it'll become clearer the closer we get to that sort of stuff."

England face Oman in Antigua on Thursday and then Namibia on Saturday.

Australia and Scotland, however, will meet on Sunday after England have completed their group games.