Why former Test captain Tim Paine believes Australia should allow Scotland to ‘get close enough’ if it helps eliminate bitter rivals England from the T20 World Cup

  • Australia could send England packing from World Cup
  • A ‘close’ result against Scotland would be crucial
  • Tim Paine called for Aussies to do England no favours
  • Quick Josh Hazlewood also doesn’t want England to advance

Former Test captain Tim Paine is adamant Australia should let Scotland ‘get close enough’ in their final pool game at the T20 World Cup to keep defending champions England out of the next stage of the tournament.

It comes following an outcry over potential manipulation of the rules.

After outclassing Namibia by nine wickets on Wednesday to secure passage to the Super 8s, Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood said it would be in his team’s ‘best interests’ to have England eliminated, which could happen should the Scots finish the group stages with a better net run rate.

A manic schedule in the World Cup finals, which could include five games in eight days for Australia to lift the trophy, has prompted plans to manage players for the game against Scotland.

Paine said the focus on winning the tournament should steer what the Australians do in the final game and if an opportunity presented itself to knock England, a serious rival, out, then he was ‘all for it’.

Former Test captain Tim Paine is adamant Australia should let Scotland ‘get close enough’ in their final pool game at the T20 World Cup to keep defending champions England out of the next stage of the tournament

Australia have started the T20 World Cup in ominous fashion and will take some stopping (pictured, captain Mitch Marsh)

Australia have started the T20 World Cup in ominous fashion and will take some stopping (pictured, captain Mitch Marsh)

‘Absolutely they should and I’m not even joking,’ Paine said on SEN Radio.

‘I’m dead serious. You don’t have to lose the game, just let Scotland get close enough.

‘And that’s not just because it’s England. I think you’ve got to go into these tournaments, trying to win a World Cup, and who could certainly pose a threat in the latter rounds? England.

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

‘So 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.’

England coach Matthew Mott – an Australian – said he hoped that Hazlewood’s comments were ‘off the cuff’ remarks and not indicative of a plan to play against Scotland with anything but 100 per cent intention to win at all costs.

‘Having grown up in Australia and the will to win every game, I am sure they will come to the fore,’ Mott told BBC Sport.

‘I am very much hoping it was an offhand remark by a really good bloke who is having fun.’

While resting players remains an option at Australia’s disposal, Marsh could also come under scrutiny as captain under the game’s Code of Conduct if the match referee was to determine that a deliberate attempt to manipulate net run rates had taken place.

Australia plays Scotland on Sunday in St Lucia after England plays its final game against Namibia, putting their fate in the hands of others.



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