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England Break Silence After Australia Get ‘Manipulation’ Suggestion

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Ahead of his side’s T20 World Cup game against Oman, England head coach Matthew Mott expressed hope that Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood’s comments about playing to knock out England from the tournament were made out of humour. England thrashed Oman in their Group B clash at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday. England face the danger of being eliminated from the tournament. Sitting fourth in the Group B after a no result against Scotland and a loss to Australia, defeat against Namibia in their final match will eliminate the defending champions.

Australia have already qualified for the Super Eight and if Scotland beats them on Sunday, the Scots could also proceed to the Super Eights along with the 2021 champions.

Speaking about playing to eliminate England, Hazlewood in the pre-match press conference had said that eliminating England would be in the best interest of everyone.

“In this tournament, you potentially come up against England at some stage again and they are probably one of the top few teams on their day and we have 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 (that of) everyone else,” Hazlewood had said, according to ESPNcricinfo.

Mott downplayed Hazlewood’s remarks.

“To be honest, I was informed of that this morning. Look to me, that is things out of our control and I think I know Josh pretty well and I know his integrity. I do not think that is a thing. He has got a very good sense of humour and hopefully, that is what he was doing,” Mott said at the pre-match press conference.

Mott said irrespective of Josh’s remarks or any other outside noise about qualification, run rates etc, the team is focused on winning their next game.

“I know Jos (Buttler) spoke really well yesterday about how we need to push hard in this game as well and I think that is what teams do. Nice, cool, calculated response. It is going to be a good wicket out here by the looks of it. We are going with a lot of confidence, I think. We have played good T20 cricket for a while now. It did not quite come off against Australia in the last game but I think we have got our structure in place, we are really confident. Those who saw us train yesterday, you can see a buoyant group up and about that is ready for the challenge ahead,” he added.

Mott also admitted that while England has shown glimpses of its fearless cricket, the tournament has been disjointed for them.

The coach also said that the team is aiming to take some quick wickets during the powerplay.

“I do think it is a different ball game when you do take wickets in the power play, it is something we aim to do and hopefully comes off in this game. It does make your life a lot easier when you can come out of the power play and batters are not set but I think over time we will sort that out and certainly that is a big aim for our guys in this contest out here,” he said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

 Defending champions England will be eliminated from the 2024 T20 World Cup if they lose to either Oman or Namibia.    

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