Pat Cummins has shot down suggestions he cost Cricket Australia a $40 million sponsorship deal with Alinta Energy, describing the claims as "absolute rubbish". Cummins was at the centre of controversy last year when he expressed his reservations over CA's partnership with Alinta due to concerns around climate change.
In October, CA and Alinta announced that the partnership they formed in 2018 will come to an end in 2023. The announcement came after Cummins, who is a member of the Cricket for Climate group, decided not to appear in Alinta’s most recent TV commercials and spoke out about companies who aren't doing their bit for the environment.
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At the time, Cummins said he hadn't put any pressure on Cricket Australia and had no regrets about speaking out. "It has always been a balance," he said. "We have seen certain players make decisions based on religions, or certain foods they eat, where they won't partner with specific partners.
"Every organisation has a responsibility to do what's right for the sport and what they think is right for the organisation, and I hope society when it moves forward. It is a balance when you make decisions about who you are going to welcome into the cricket family."
In an interview with News Corp on Tuesday, Cummins rubbished suggestions he had cost CA the $40 million deal. “It was complete rubbish,” he said.
“The nature of the position I am in you do get dragged into different things. It was one of those moments you have to live with people you don’t know having opinions about you.”
Cummins continues to cop backlash from fans over the drama, with many criticising Cricket Australia and the captain for being too 'woke'. “It doesn’t bother me at all,’’ he said of the criticism.
“I am not doing things to please absolutely everyone. Steve Jobs said he would go and sell ice cream if he wanted to do that.’
“My generation and people around that are passionate about different things. They are open-minded to things … some people can’t leave those values at the door. They can’t walk past those values. If that creates different conversations maybe that is a good thing."
Pat Cummins picked in Test team of the year
Meanwhile, Cummins is among four Australian players named in the ICC's Test team of the year on Tuesday. Cummins is joined by Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon in the XI captained by England's Ben Stokes.
Khawaja has enjoyed a stunning resurgence since returning to the Test arena, scoring a century in the third Test against South Africa at the SCG - his third-consecutive ton in Sydney. Labuschagne, the world's top-ranked Test batter, was also rewarded for his dominance at No.3
Cummins and Lyon have been mainstays of Australia's attack over the last 12 months, helping them surge to the top of the ICC Test standings after series wins over England, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa.
England players Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson were also included in the XI. Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies), Babar Azam (Pakistan), Rishabh Pant (India) and Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) round out the side.
Stokes was honoured with captaining the side after he and coach Brendon McCullum transformed England's approach following Joe Root's decision to stand down as skipper last April. England had won just one of their previous 17 Tests under Root's leadership, but Stokes and McCullum have led the Poms to nine victories in the last 10 matches. England have won series against New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan in the last 12 months, as well as a historic victory against India.
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