AUS Vs SCO: Pat Cummins Says No To Score Manipulation - 'Against Spirit Of Cricket'

Josh Hazlewood had earlier alluded to Australia possibly manipulating a win margin against Scotland, in order to knock England out of Super 8 contention at ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Australia vs Namibia, ICC T20 World Cup 2024, AP photo
Australia beat Namibia in their previous ICC T20 World Cup 2024 match. Photo: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

Amid widespread conversation around Josh Hazlewood's remarks on Australia possibly manipulating a win margin against Scotland, his seam-bowling partner Pat Cummins has said that Australia would have done no such thing. A scenario could have arisen where England would have been knocked out of ICC T20 World Cup 2024, had their net run rate been lower than that of Scotland. But that situation is now moot, after England's landslide win over Oman on Friday (June 14) in Antigua. (Full Coverage | Cricket News)

"I think when you go out and play you are trying your best every time and if you are not, that's probably against the spirit of cricket," Cummins told reporters in St Lucia before the outcome of the England vs Oman game.

"Haven't really thought too deeply because it's never really popped up. I was speaking to Joshy (Josh Hazlewood), who had a bit of a joke about it the other day, and think it got taken a little bit out of context. We'll go there and just try and play Scotland who have had a really good tournament so far and will be tough.

"It's [net run rate] something you kind of discuss as one of the quirks of the set-up but in terms of does it change the way we play, absolutely not. I've never stepped into the field without the mindset of trying to take the game on and be aggressive, like the guys have so far," Cummins added.

Hazlewood had made the remark after Australia's win over Namibia, which confirmed their passage to the Super Eight stage. "In this tournament you potentially come up against England at some stage again. They're probably one of the top few teams on their day and 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, so whether we have discussions or not, we'll just try and play it again the way we did tonight. That'll be up to [other] people, not me," Hazlewood had said.

"Whether you get close and you just knock it around and drag it out. There's 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'll become clearer the closer we get to that sort of stuff," Hazlewood had added.

Such an act, however, was fraught with danger as Australia's captain Mitchell Marsh could have faced a ban for up to two matches under Article 2.11 of the ICC's code of conduct.