Josh Hazlewood acknowledged it would be in Australia's "best interest" if England were eliminated from the T20 World Cup group stage.

The reigning champions have made a stuttering start to their title defence, losing to the Australians after their opening match against Scotland was rained off.

Jos Buttler's side must now beat Oman and Namibia in their remaining Group B games - while significantly boosting their net run-rate - to stand any chance of advancing to the Super 8s.

However, England would be knocked out on Sunday if Scotland were to beat Australia, who have already qualified for the next phase after winning each of their first three matches. 

A narrow Australian win could also dethrone the defending champions, whose elimination Hazlewood admitted would boost his nation's chances of landing a second T20 World Cup crown.

"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," the fast bowler 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's."

"There are 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've 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."

Chris Gayle, the T20 cricket sensation and former West Indies star, has been named captain of the West Indies Champions for the upcoming World Championship of Legends 2024. This thrilling competition, set to begin on July 3rd in Birmingham, UK, promises to be a memorable event for cricket fans around the globe. Gayle is an ambassador for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup being staged in the West Indies and USA.

Ajay Sethi, Chairman of Channel 2 Group Corporation, has taken ownership of the West Indies Champions franchise, bringing a new level of excitement and anticipation to the league. “I am thrilled to be part of the World Championship of Legends and to lead the West Indies Champions,” Sethi stated. “This league is a fantastic opportunity to unite some of the greatest cricket talents and provide fans with a nostalgic yet thrilling experience.”

Joining Gayle on the team are cricket greats Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree, and Daren Sammy, making the West Indies Champions a formidable force in the tournament. Gayle expressed his excitement about leading the team, saying, “I look forward to rejoining my family in our quest to win the cup. It’s a delight to play more matches in prestigious tournaments like the World Championship of Legends and reconnect with our fans through this exciting format.”

The World Championship of Legends, approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board, will feature six prestigious franchises: India Champions, Australia Champions, England Champions, Pakistan Champions, South Africa Champions, and West Indies Champions.

Fans can expect an unforgettable experience with cricketing legends like Yuvraj Singh, Brett Lee, Kevin Pietersen, Jacques Kallis, Shahid Afridi, and Chris Gayle showing off the skills that made them champions of the sport.

Adam Zampa hit a milestone as Australia reached the Super 8s of the T20 World Cup with a resounding nine-wicket thrashing of Namibia.

Leg-spinner Zampa took 4-12 to reach a century of wickets in the shortest format, as Namibia were bowled out for just 72 in 17 overs in Antigua.

Australia needed just 34 balls to surpass that total, with Travis Head's unbeaten 34 from 17 deliveries propelling them to a comprehensive win.

David Warner (20) was the only Australian to lose his wicket, with captain Mitchell Marsh (18 not out) hitting the winning runs.

Australia are now top of Group B ahead of facing surprise package Scotland on Sunday. 

Tuesday's other match, between Sri Lanka and Nepal, was called off due to rain without a ball having been bowled.

The abandonment of that match in Florida means that Sri Lanka's hopes of qualifying for the next round are all but over.

Sri Lanka are bottom of Group D with just one match left to play, against the Netherlands on Monday.

Data Debrief: Zampa makes history

Zampa is the first Australian to reach the century landmark for wickets in T20Is, while his 12 runs conceded against Namibia is the joint-lowest total of any player for Australia from a full four overs in a T20 World Cup match.

Gerhard Erasmus was the only player to impress for Namibia. He scored 36 runs, 50 per cent of his team's total. 

That is the highest proportion of any batter in a Namibia T20 World Cup innings.

 West Indies have enjoyed somewhat of a storming start to their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign, but it’s safe to say those victories over minnows Papua New Guinea and Uganda were always expected.

Though a bit shaky in a five-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in their Group C opener, West Indies backed that victory up with a convincing 134-run beating of newcomers Uganda. However, the Caribbean side will be hopeful of a better second half to the group stages, as they now have New Zealand to contend with, and Afghanistan to follow.

With four points already to their credit and New Zealand yet to get on the board, the Darren Sammy-coached West Indies is targeting another win, which would guarantee them a spot in the Super Eight, and basically eliminate the Black Caps.

A record crowd is anticipated for the encounter, scheduled to play under lights at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Trinidad and Tobago, on Wednesday.

While acknowledging that it will be an exciting challenge, West Indies captain Rovman Powell believes it is also an opportunity for his team to showcase the class and form that they have enjoyed over the past 15 months.

During that time, the now number-four ranked West Indies registered 2-1, 3-2 and 3-2 series wins over South Africa, India and England respectively, before losing 1-2 to Australia. Prior to the World Cup they swept South Africa 3-0 at Sabina Park.

"We are pretty confident; the boys been playing some very good cricket, and we know New Zealand will pose different challenge from our first two opponents. But having said that, once we just focus on ourselves and play good cricket, we should be okay,” Powell told journalists at a pre-game press conference on Tuesday.

"If you should look on the last year, the last twelve or 14 months, West Indies have played very good T20 cricket. So it's just a continuation of us doing that, even though it's a World Cup, the guys have done a lot of hard work coming into this World Cup, so hopefully we can show that hard work. It's two of the more traditional nations, Afghanistan and New Zealand, but I think once we focus on ourselves, we should be okay,” he added.

Given that New Zealand succumbed to a heavy 84-run defeat to Afghanistan, in a contest where they were bowled out for 75 runs, Powell said it signals some semblance of vulnerability in the opponents’ form and, as such, he and his team are looking to capitalise.

"If there's a good time to play New Zealand, I think it's definitely now. They're a little bit undercooked and the pressure is really on them because this game decides whether they go on or not. But, we're not focusing on New Zealand, we're focusing on what we have to do, and once we do what we have to do, then that will take care of itself,” Powell noted.

That said, the Jamaican once again declared their intentions to possibly secure an unprecedented third T20 World Cup title. West Indies won the 2012 and 2016 tournaments in Sri Lanka and India, and Powell is optimistic that they can now secure a title home soil, a feat he said would mean more to cricket in the region that just one more trophy.

“When you look on the benefits of playing a World Cup at home for West Indies cricket, it's an enormous benefit. If we should go on and win the World Cup, it would make us the first team to win a T20 World Cup at home. From a financial standpoint, it (hosting) boosts West Indies cricket economy, and is beneficial for so much different islands to be getting international cricket of such good standards, so that in itself is a beneficial factor,” Powell reasoned.

“For us as players, it's an opportunity for us to cement our space in West Indies cricket folklore, and winning a World Cup on home soil, not just myself as captain, but all the guys, will be remembered for such achievement.

"But those expectations are on the back of us playing good T20 cricket, which has resulted in us being ranked number four in the world now, and it's for us to continue to manage those expectations. I think the guys have done that, we are at home, so obviously expectations and pressure is always there, but it's just for us to keep on playing good cricket and keep on entertaining the fans,” he ended. 

Babar Azam lauded a much-needed T20 World Cup victory for Pakistan against Canada on Tuesday, though still regretted his side not wrapping up the win sooner.

Pakistan made light work of their 107-run target in New York, easing to their first win at this year's competition with 15 balls to spare and still boasting seven wickets in hand.

Mohammad Rizwan made a run-a-ball 53 in the chase, while captain Babar added 33 in what proved to be a routine victory.

Yet having already suffered a shock opening defeat to the United States and a low-scoring loss to rivals India, Babar was frustrated Pakistan could not finish the task sooner against Canada.

"Good for us, we need this win," Babar said during his post-match interview. "We started well with the bowling, in the first six overs we knew we had to be up to the mark.

"[Net run-rate] was in our mind, to win before 14 overs but the pitch made it difficult."

Mohammad Amir managed an economical 2-13 from his four-over spell as Canada's batters failed to get going against Pakistan.

The Pakistan bowler was named Player of the Match for his efforts, referencing a need for adaptability in the USA and West Indies.

"As a bowler you have to adopt the conditions, what the conditions are demanding," Amir said. "My role is very clear, what I'm going to do with the new ball and at the death.

"That's why I'm getting that success. That was a very important win. One more, who knows..."

Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar, meanwhile, was left frustrated.

"Definitely, it was a bit disappointing," he said. "We wanted to play a positive brand of cricket and I think the wicket was not very helpful.

"It was difficult to bat early on; not a good toss to lose. We were about 25 to 30 runs short."

Pakistan boosted their slim hopes of qualifying for the T20 World Cup Super 8s with a seven-wicket victory over Canada.

Muhammad Rizwan made an unbeaten half-century to give the Green Shirts a much-needed win in New York, having started their campaign with back-to-back defeats against the United States and India.

Aaron Johnson top-scored for Canada with an impressive 52 off 44 balls - including four sixes - as the Maple Leafers finished at 106-7.

Rizwan and Babar Azam led Pakistan's charge with a stand of 63.

Azam fell on 33 as he was caught off Dilon Heyliger, but Rizwan kept things ticking over before Usman Khan wrapped up the victory with 15 balls to spare.

Data Debrief: Ton up for Rauf

Pakistan are still in the hunt for a Super 8s spot, though they must comfortably beat Ireland in the final Group A game and hope for favourable results from elsewhere to secure a top-two finish.

On a brighter note, Haris Rauf's figure of 2-26 saw him notch up his 100th wicket in T20Is, becoming only the second player from his nation to hit triple figures after Shadab Khan.

England must "earn the right" to start thinking about T20 World Cup permutations, says Jos Buttler, whose side face a humiliating early exit in the group stage.

Matthew Mott's white-ball  were defeated by Australia on Saturday, with their 36-run loss leaving them staring at a group-stage elimination in their T20I title defence.

That result was compounded by Scotland's thrashing of Oman with 41 balls to spare as England suffered another blow to their hopes of progressing via net run-rate.

Another must-win match against Oman looms on Thursday, where England have to triumph before any other calculations of permutations can begin, says captain Buttler.

"I don't think it's s**t or bust quite yet," Buttler told reporters in Antigua. "I think it's quite clear what we need to do and how we need to play.

"First and foremost, we need to win the game against Oman to have any chance going forward into the next one.

"So we have to earn the right to try and win the game. And if we can get ourselves in a position to affect our net run-rate, obviously that's what we need to do."

England then face Namibia on Saturday to round off their group-stage campaign, though two victories for Buttler's side may still not be enough.

Scotland could still knock them out by beating Australia in their final match after England meet Namibia, when the Scots will have an advantage of a clear picture of what is required.

"We've looked at a few little bits but it's going to be ever-changing throughout the game," Buttler added.

"I don't think we need to consume too much energy today and tomorrow saying 'we need to score 'X' amount of runs or win by this much'. I think those kinds of things will develop on the day.

"That's the situation we find ourselves in, so we have to be aware of that, but not be consumed by that.

"If we try and do that bit first and forget about trying to win the game and lose, then you've got no chance anyway.

"So I'd rather have some kind of chance going into the last game, and know exactly what we need to."

England's white-ball struggles at the tournament have raised questions about Buttler's captaincy and coach Mott's tenure.

Buttler has no interest in the speculation surrounding his stewardship, however.

"I care more about the team than the media and the outside noise," he added. "That's always there, it's part of international sport. If you get to this level, you have to be able to deal with it, the job you guys do, that's the job TV does.

"It's probably harder to completely ignore it in this day and age, but there's a level of acceptance. Our focus has to be on what we can do with our performance.

"I've played the game long enough now to know that it's very good at building people up and pretty good at criticising when it doesn't go right, especially in England.

"I do the same thing when I'm watching a game of football or rugby – 'how's he missed that from there?' 'How did he miss from one-yard out', or 'someone's dropped the ball over the line'. Simple things like that.

"People care. That's why we're able to do what we do because people care and they want to watch. We're a proud team, we want to perform really well for all the fans.

"But to be honest, all the focus is on us and how well we can play. If we play as well as we can, we'll make our fans happy."

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have confirmed the players they have retained and signed ahead of the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) draft. They have 13 confirmed players for the 2024 season and will have four spots to fill at the draft in July. 

Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and South African opening batter Rilee Rossouw headline their 2024 signings, with Zimbabwean international Sikandar Raza and hugely exciting Sri Lankan seam bowler Nuwan Thushara also in the squad.

Their final overseas signing is South African batter Tristan Stubbs who had an excellent IPL for the Delhi Capitals.

The local players the Patriots have retained include Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford and Andre Fletcher. The Patriots have also secured the services of Odean Smith who has been transferred from the Guyana Amazon Warriors. 

The Patriots finished last in the 2023 CPL with one win in ten games.

The 2024 edition of the CPL is set to run from August 30 to October 7. The Patriots will open their campaign against St Lucia Kings on September 1 in Basseterre.

The Antigua & Barbuda Falcons have confirmed the players they have signed ahead of the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League draft.

They have 12 confirmed players for the 2024 season and will have five spots to fill at the draft in July. 

The Falcons, who are replacing the Jamaica Tallawahs in this year’s tournament, will feature Pakistani internationals Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim and Fakhar Zaman, all of whom are currently featuring in the T20 World Cup which is taking place in the Caribbean and USA. 

Their overseas contingent will be rounded out by Australia’s Chris Green and Afghan all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai. 

Omarzai, currently representing Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup, recently took part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the first time with the Gujarat Titans.

Brandon King and Fabian Allen will also be part of the Falcons squad for 2024 as well as hugely exciting Antiguan batter Jewel Andrew who starred at the Under 19 World Cup earlier this year. 

King previously represented the Guyana Amazon Warriors and the Jamaica Tallawahs, who he captained to the title in 2022, while Allen has previously represented the Patriots and Tallawahs.

The full list of signed players for the Falcons is as follows: Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman, Brandon King, Jewell Andrew, Chris Green, Shamar Springer, Joshua James, Azmatullah Omarzai, Kelvin Pitman, Hayden Walsh Jr, Fabian Allen

 

Aiden Markram admitted South Africa rode their luck as they maintained their perfect record at the T20 World Cup with a tense four-run win over Bangladesh on Monday.

The Proteas looked to be heading for their first loss in Group D when they toiled to 113-6 in Long Island, but some slow scoring from Bangladesh left the match in the balance late on.

Requiring seven runs from the final three balls for victory, Bangladesh saw both Jaker Ali and Mahmudullah caught by Markram, who was in the right place at the right time on the boundary as South Africa's opponents went in search of a maximum.

The result keeps South Africa top of Group D and on course for a Super-8 berth with six points, four clear of Bangladesh, but Markram acknowledged they had been lucky.

"You're always pretty nervous in the final over in a game like that. It was always on a knife's edge, it can make you mentally tired," he said after the match.

"It's always nice to be in them though. Sometimes you get on the right side of it, sometimes not, but it's very entertaining. 

"That 19.5 full toss could've gone anywhere, it could've gone two more metres further and we'd have had a different conversation. 

"A few things went our way today, we were very fortunate to get on the right side.

"Today was one of those days where the seamers were bowling well, we wanted to drag it to the end where anything could happen in the last over."

Heinrich Klaasen hit a vital 46 to drag South Africa to 113 after they had been teetering on 23-4, putting up a 79-run partnership with David Miller, who hit 29.

"We're putting Klaasen and Miller under pressure but they've been exceptional," Markram added.

"They've gone back-to-back with crucial partnerships, got us to a score that was luckily enough to win but still one we could defend. It's fantastic for Klaasy to get back in form."

South Africa held off Bangladesh to maintain their perfect record at the T20 World Cup on Monday, defending a target of 113 in a thrilling finish in Long Island.

The Proteas, who had made a flawless start to their Group D campaign with successful chases against Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, looked to be up against it after a dire start to their third outing. 

Bangladesh's Tanzim Hasan Sakib needed just five overs to clinch a hat-trick as Reeza Hendricks went lbw for a first-ball duck, then Quinton de Kock (18) and Tristan Stubbs (0) followed, the latter chipping straight to Shakib Al Hasan at short cover.

Heinrich Klaasen stopped the rot, but his knock of 46 came off 44 deliveries as Bangladesh bowled efficiently, and another low-scoring affair was guaranteed when he was bamboozled by Taskin Ahmed's seam ball 18 overs in.

Bangladesh's chase got off to an inauspicious start as Kagiso Rabada had Tanzid Hasan (9) caught inside two overs, later joining Anrich Nortje on two wickets when an umpire's review showed he clipped leg stump to end Towhid Hridoy's stand of 37.

That knock had left Bangladesh requiring 18 off 12 balls in front of a fervent crowd, but like Pakistan versus India one day earlier, they were unable to get over the line. 

Proteas captain Aiden Markram was in the right place at the right time on two occasions, catching desperate attempts for a maximum from both Jaker Ali (8) and Mahmudullah (20) right on the boundary to seal South Africa's victory. 

Data Debrief: Proteas do enough... just

South Africa have still never lost a T20I versus Bangladesh in nine meetings, but they put themselves in real bother with some slow scoring in their innings.

However, the efforts of Rabada (2-19), Nortje (2-17) and Keshav Maharaj (3-27) were enough, the latter's bowling handing Markram two catches as Bangladesh were forced to hit big in the dying moments. 

The Proteas remain top of Group D with maximum points from three games, with Bangladesh now having one win and one defeat.

The Trinbago Knight Riders have confirmed the players they have retained and signed ahead of the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) draft.

They have 15 confirmed players for the 2024 season and will have two emerging player spots to fill at the draft in July. 

The Knight Riders have signed Australian batter Tim David for the 2024 season. David has had success in the CPL in the past with the Saint Lucia Kings.

They have also secured the services of experienced and explosive England international Jason Roy who is set for his first taste of the CPL.

Roy is one of the world’s most travelled T20 players boasting stats of 9244 runs in 360 matches including six hundreds and 60 fifties at a strike rate of 141.60. 

USA international Ali Khan and Afghan spinner Waqar Salamkheil will return to the franchise for the 2024 season. The Knight Riders have also signed Ireland left arm seamer Josh Little who recently became the first Irish man to play in the IPL with the Gujarat Titans.

The Knight Riders have retained the core of Caribbean players that took them to the final at the 2023 tournament with Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Nicholas Pooran all back with the Trinidad franchise. 

The full list of retained and signed players for the Knight Riders are as follows: Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Nicholas Pooran, Keacy Carty, Tim David, Josh Little, Terrence Hinds, Mark Deyal, Jason Roy, Dwayne Bravo, Waqar Salamkheil, Jayden Seales.

 

Gary Kirsten says Pakistan's poor decision-making was the deciding factor in their six-run defeat to India at the T20 World Cup on Sunday. 

The result leaves Pakistan bottom of Group A following their shock loss to the United States in their opening game of the tournament.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, Pakistan were aided by rain interruptions and dismissed their opponents for 119.

They also made a good start with the bat as Mohammad Rizwan laid the platform for the chase after scoring 31 from 44 balls. 

However, their middle-order batters failed to step up as Jasprit Bumrah (3-14) made crucial breakthroughs and bowled 15 dot balls to maintain India's unbeaten start to their campaign. 

"Disappointing loss, that's for sure," Kirsten said shortly after the defeat. 

"I knew 120 was not going to be an easy target. If India got only 120, it was always going to be not the easiest. But I think we had the game at 72 for 2 with six or seven overs left. Disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into."

Kirsten was asked where the game slipped from their hands. "Decision-making," he said. 

"You have got the game on, run a ball, eight wickets in hand, decision-making at that point. That's the game. That's international cricket for you.

"You make mistakes like that, you are going to pay. I thought we made some poor decisions at important phases of the game. I thought Rizwan played well for us. We knew it was going to be a tough wicket to bat on. We managed the chase very well but then just let it slip in the end."

Pakistan travel to New York to face Canada on Tuesday with India squaring off against the hosts at the same venue a day later.

Scotland thrashed Oman for a seven-wicket victory at the T20 World Cup on Sunday, boosting their chances of reaching the Super 8 at England's expense.

Brandon McMullen hit an unbeaten 61 as Scotland needed just 13.1 overs to chase down their target of 151, the victory taking them top of Group B.

Safyaan Sharif had figures of 2-40 on his 200th international outing, bowling Aqib Ilyas lbw and having Mehran Khan caught as Oman finished 150-7.  

McMullen wasted no time in helping the Scots overhaul that figure, slamming his 61 runs off just 31 deliveries, hitting nine fours and two maximums.

After seeing their opening match against England rained off then beating Namibia on Thursday, Scotland sit top of their pool with seven points ahead of next week's clash with Australia.

A victory in that match will guarantee Scotland escape the group, while they could even advance with a defeat. England will need to win both of their matches and overhaul Scotland's strong run rate to progress. 

Data Debrief: McMullen leads the way

McMullen's score of 61 was his highest in a T20I since he managed 68 against Ireland in Edinburgh last June. 

He still trails team-mates Michael Jones (87) and George Munsey (89) in the total run-scoring charts at this World Cup, with only eight players bettering the latter's tally overall.

India captain Rohit Sharma described Jasprit Bumrah as a "genius" after he pushed Pakistan closer to an early T20 World Cup elimination on Sunday.

Looking to bounce back from their stunning defeat to the United States, Pakistan appeared to be in the ascendency when they skittled India for 119 before reaching 73-2 in their chase.

However, they slipped to 88-5 as Bumrah dismissed Babar Azam, Mohammed Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed, bowling 15 dot balls and only giving up 14 runs in four overs.

Requiring 16 off the final three balls, Pakistan saw Naseem Shah hit a couple of fours when a maximum was required as India held on. 

After falling short with the bat, Rohit knew India would have to rely on their bowlers to make it two wins from two Group A matches.

"We didn't bat well enough," Rohit said. "Halfway through, we were in a good position, 81 for 3.

"You expect guys to stitch partnerships, but we didn't put enough partnerships there. I thought we fell 15 to 20 short.

"We spoke about how every run matters on a pitch like that. We were looking at 140, but I thought the bowlers could do the job for us and they did.

"That's what's required in a tournament like this. We need everyone to show up. Those little contributions make a huge difference.

"Whoever had the ball in hand wanted to make a contribution for the team."

Asked about Bumrah's efficient performance, Rohit added: "He is going from strength to strength. We've seen over the years what he can do, I'm not going to talk too much about him. 

"We want him to be in that kind of mindset until the end of the World Cup. He's a genius with the ball, we know that, but hats off to the other guys as well."

Bumrah himself said: "We felt we were a little under-par. When the sun came out, the wicket got a bit better. 

"We had to be disciplined with what we were trying to do. I tried to keep it simple, the wicket got better, and the swing was less. I just tried to be clear with my plan and focused on my execution."

India take on the USA next time out on Wednesday, having moved above the co-hosts to go top of the pool due to their superior run rate through their first two contests.

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