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Cummins reassures England over Hazlewood World Cup 'exit' comments

By AFP

June 14, 2024 09:31 AM


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Pat Cummins ruled out Thursday the prospect of Australia underperforming against Scotland in a bid to oust rivals England from the Twenty20 World Cup, saying it would be against the "spirit of cricket."

Bowling spearhead Josh Hazlewood caused controversy this week when he said it would be in Australia's interests for reigning champions England to be out of the competition.

Australia have already secured their place in the next round, the Super Eights, and he suggested they could ease up in their closing Group B game against Scotland this weekend to engineer their bitter rivals' exit.

That scenario now appears less likely after England crushed Oman by eight wickets on Thursday to move above Scotland on net run rate with a final game to come against Namibia.

England coach Matt Mott -- an Australian -- said he hoped Hazlewood was joking and Australia's Test and one-day skipper Cummins assured him that the bowler was.

"When you go out and play you're trying your best every time. And if you're not, it's probably against the spirit of cricket," Cummins told reporters in St Lucia.

"I don't think you can (go into a game not trying to win) -– ever. You're playing an international game in the middle of a World Cup.

"You still want to try and have a good game and carry that on into the Super Eights. I've never stepped on to the field without the mindset of being aggressive, like the guys have so far."

Cummins said he had spoken to Hazlewood and the comments were tongue-in-cheek and "got taken a bit out of context."

"We'll go out there and try to play Scotland, who have had a really good tournament so far, so it's going to be tough," he said.

"It's something you discuss as one of the quirks of the set-up, but it does it change the way we play? Absolutely not."


AFP


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