On the eve of cricket’s 10th World Cup, I beg your indulgence for what really is a cricket story of lesser global importance and more of personal interest. I admit it is a little self indulgent but isn’t that what bloggs are for? The subject of this email is Patrick Cummins.
Some of you may have noticed Pat burst on the scene recently, playing for the Blues in the Big Bash. Many of the some will know because I told you but others may have noticed anyway because he did make rather a splash. Pat was interviewed on Inside Cricket, ABC Radio and was widely discussed on air during the games he played. The reason is that Pat is just 17 years old, was bowling in the mid one-forties and took bags of wickets.
Cummins took three wickets in two matches (including his first) and 4-16 in a matching winning semi-final performance. He ended up equal-topping the wicket taking ladder for the entire Big Bash, taking 11 wickets in 7 matches and conceded just over 6.5 runs per over.
In the current Australian cricket climate, that is crying out for a bowling star, this is newsworthy in its own right (even though it is only T20 cricket). I am bothering to cover this in more detail because I know a little more about Pat.
Pat Cummins is a Hawkesbury lad but has played all his cricket in my home town, Penrith. Friends of ours who had their sons in week end cricket told of this kid called Cummins who hit hundreds every other week. He also wasn’t a half bad bowler. Pat has been playing 1st grade for Penrith for some time now.
Pat went to St Paul’s Grammar School, where my eldest daughter, Maddie attended. They both just finished the HSC and were in most of the same classes. I would have written this piece earlier but I couldn’t think of a way of including unrequited love and milkshakes without embarrassing them both. So I have decided to leave that bit out.
Pat’s call up had a false start. His first match was to be in Brisbane during the flood. When we heard (on Facebook) that he was a definite starter against Tasmania, we arranged to visit friends who had pay TV. The same friends mentioned earlier who used to get thumped by Pat. Ironically and coincidentally, while we watched cricket in their house, our friends were at Pat’s first match but didn’t even “twig” that it was the same kid. Unfortunately, Pat took his first two wickets while we were in transit. But we did hear them on the good old ABC.
In the past few days Pat has taken a hat trick and scored a half century in the Futures league match between NSW and Queensland.
It is early days yet, and he is very young, but objectively, Cummins would seem to have a very good chance of playing Test cricket in a few years time. He obviously has huge potential and he plays for the right state. I’m really kicking myself now that I didn’t ask Pat to sign my menu at the St Paul’s valedictory dinner last September. It may have been worth a fortune on eBay in a decade or two.