Mitchell Marsh might face ban if Australia manipulate result against Scotland to ensure England’s elimination

Australia will know the exact margin of victory required for England to be knocked out.

Mitchell Marsh | GettyAustralia pacer Josh Hazlewood on Wednesday (June 12) hinted at manipulating the result of their upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 match against Scotland to ensure bitter-rivals England’s group-stage elimination from the tournament.

The Three Lions are not only facing a must-win situation against Oman and Namibia, but they need to win their last two group matches with a higher net run rate than Scotland to qualify for the Super 8.

Having recorded three wins in as many games, Australia have already qualified for the Super 8 stage. The Mitchell Marsh-led side is now in a position to change the dynamics of the Group B points table.

They can defeat Scotland by a narrow margin to ensure their opponent’s net run rate remains above England – the champions of the last T20 World Cup.

However, Australia will have to be mindful of the ICC code of conduct rules as such an act might see skipper Marsh facing a ban if the match officials find him guilty.

“Article 2.11 is intended to prevent the manipulation of international matches for inappropriate strategic or tactical reasons (such as when a team deliberately loses a pool match in an ICC event in order to affect the standings of other teams in that ICC event),” the ICC’s code of conduct reads.

“It might also apply to the inappropriate manipulation of a net run rate or accumulation of bonus points or otherwise.

“The team captain of any team guilty of such conduct shall be held responsible (and subject to sanction) for any offence found to have been committed under this Article.”

Depending on the severity of the offence, this could carry a minimum sanction of a 50% match fee fine, with a maximum of four demerit points and two suspension points - which would rule Marsh out of Australia's first two Super 8 fixtures.

Addressing the media after Australia’s emphatic nine-wicket victory over Namibia in Antigua, Hazlewood conceded that their chances of winning the T20 World Cup would improve if England fail to reach the Super 8.

“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,” Hazlewood said.

“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, I don’t think. Whether we have discussions or not, or we just try and play again the way we played tonight, that’ll be up to people, not me,” he added.

Notably, England’s final group-stage match against Namibia finishes quite a few hours before Australia’s encounter with Scotland, which means the 2021 champions will know the exact margin of victory required for the old enemies to be knocked out.

In practice, however, it could be difficult for umpires to determine that Australia had intentionally attempted to manipulate net run-rate, except for an obvious shift in tempo from a position of dominance.

(With ESPNCricinfo Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 12 Jun, 2024

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