T20 WC: Manipulate Scotland match, Paine to Australia

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 12, 2024 IST

Australia Team

New Delhi, June 12: The oldest rivalry in cricket is alive again. Though arch rivals England and Australia have already played their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, with the Aussies posting a massive win, but former Australia Test captain Tim Paine wants his countrymen to manipulate Scotland match.

The fallout of the manipulation can ensure England's ouster from the ongoing World Cup. That may sound bit strange, but Paine said he is serious about that.

Paine has urged Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh and Co to manipulate their final group game against Scotland to eliminate defending champions England from the ongoing T20 World Cup. 

With Australia already securing their spot in the Super Eights, Paine believes the team should focus on keeping Scotland's Net Run Rate (NRR) high enough to prevent England from advancing. 

Paine expressed his views on SEN Radio, stating, "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."

He emphasized that Australia doesn't need to lose the game but should aim to keep the match close enough to maintain Scotland's favourable NRR.

Currently, England are in a precarious position, sitting fourth in Group B with only one point and an NRR of -1.800. They have two remaining games and need not only to win both by large margins but also to hope for a significant loss for Scotland against Australia to have any chance of advancing. In contrast, Scotland have five points with a healthy NRR of +2.164.

Paine suggests a scenario where Australia, while still winning, can manipulate the outcome to favour Scotland.

"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," Paine proposed. This approach would make it difficult for England to surpass Scotland's NRR even with large-margin victories in their remaining matches.

The former wicketkeeper-batsman sees this tactic as a "smart, calculated" move that could benefit Australia later in the competition. "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," he explained. Paine stressed that eliminating a strong team like England early would ease Australia's path to the knockout stages.

Despite England's rough start, Paine acknowledges their potential to turn things around. "There's no doubt they are still one of the best teams in the world," he said, noting that England could still pose a significant threat if they advance. Thus, strategically ensuring England's early exit could be a decisive advantage for Australia.

Paine concluded by reiterating the importance of strategic play in tournament settings. "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." He emphasized that Australia’s primary goal is to win the World Cup, and avoiding a formidable opponent like England in the semifinals could be crucial to achieving that aim. 

If Australia actually allows Scotland to perform better to ensure England's ouster from the tournament, that may appear strange and unethical to many. But unless the ICC acts in such a situation, then another Aussie cricketing smartness may end England's campaign in the T20 World Cup. (With IANS support) 

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