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T20 World Cup: Australia's Josh Hazlewood says knocking England out is in their best interest

England's only focus is on victory as they prepare for a critical encounter with Oman in Antigua on Thursday before facing Namibia on Saturday, with Australia facing Scotland the same day; watch the men's T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports this June

Australia's Josh Hazlewood celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Finn Allen during the T20 cricket international between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP)
Image: Josh Hazlewood spoke about whether Australia would do their best to force England out of the T20 World Cup

Australia's Josh Hazlewood says to knock England out of the T20 World Cup would be "in our best interests as well as probably everyone else" after thrashing Namibia.

Australia chased down Namibia's first-innings total in just five overs and four balls to stay unbeaten in the T20 World Cup on Tuesday.

Adam Zampa took 4-12 from four overs as they stormed into the Super 8s with one Group B match to spare.

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Australia thrashed Namibia to progress to the Super 8s at the ICC T20 World Cup

Australia's final Group B match against Scotland in St Lucia on Saturday could now decide England's fate, with skipper Jos Buttler knowing they must beat Oman and Namibia in their remaining group matches.

Hazlewood, who claimed 2-18 as Namibia were dismissed for 72, told a press conference: "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.

"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's I think.

"It will be interesting to see, never really been in this position before as a team I don't think.

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"Whether we have discussions or not, or we just try and play again the way we played tonight, that will be up to people, not me."

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Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton discuss what England's T20 World Cup hopes now look like following their defeat to Australia

Pressed on what helping knock out England may look like, Aussie seam bowler Hazlewood admitted: "Not too sure really.

"Whether you get close and just knock it around, drag it out.

"There are a few options there, but to take confidence from winning and winning well, I think that's almost more important than potentially trying to knock someone else out.

"They [England] have still got a lot to do on their behalf as well. So, I think it will become clearer the closer we get to that sort of stuff."

Mott hopes Hazlewood comments are 'tongue in cheek'

England head coach Matthew Mott, who coached Hazlewood previously at New South Wales, believes his comments were just the result of "a very good sense of humour".

"I am hoping it was very much tongue in cheek," Mott said. "I actually don't think it is ever going to play out.

"Having grown up in Australia, and the will to win every game, I am sure they will come to the fore.

"I am very much hoping it was an off hand remark by a really good bloke who is having fun."

Hazlewood's response could earn the attention of the International Cricket Council, with Clause 2.11 of the Code of Conduct covering "any attempt to manipulate an International Match for inappropriate strategic or tactical reasons".

As captain, Mitch Marsh would be liable for any such offence and be liable for two suspension points - effectively a two-match ban in white-ball cricket.

Group B standings

Australia, England, Scotland Cricket T20 World Cup
Image: England must beat Oman and Namibia and hope Australia can do them a favour and knock Scotland out of the T20 World Cup

What are the permutations?

Defending champions England are sweating on a place in the next phase of the tournament after a washout against Scotland was followed by a 36-run defeat to their Ashes rivals.

Scotland have beaten both Oman and Namibia, meaning they have five points already - the maximum amount that England can now finish the group stage with.

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Highlights from Barbados where Scotland's George Munsey and Michael Jones impressed against England before their clash was washed out

If England defeat Oman on Thursday at 8pm, and Namibia on Saturday at 6pm, both live on Sky Sports, all eyes will be on the fixture between Scotland and Australia from 1am, also live on Sky Sports.

In that scenario, Scotland avoiding defeat against Australia would see them advance while sending England home. However, if Australia win, then second place in the group would be decided by net run-rate.

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Highlights of Oman against Scotland from the T20 World Cup

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