Australian captain Pat Cummins hailed for two classy acts after cricket World Cup heroics

Captain Pat Cummins has been hailed for two classy acts in the aftermath of Australia’s stunning World Cup triumph over India.

Proving himself to be a “pure gentlemen” and “true leader”, Cummins was considerate and thoughtful right to the very end, while all hell broke loose around him.

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First, with his teammates ready to erupt on the podium in scenes of pure ecstasy, Cummins kept an unbelievably cool head.

Admittedly, he had plenty of time to plan his actions, waiting by himself for what felt like an eternity as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles congratulated all his teammates before they eventually stood by his side on the stage.

Once that awkwardness ended, Cummins then got on his knee to raise the trophy, carefully making certain he didn’t block any of his teammates behind him, while also keeping the hard-earned trophy in full view for all to see.

Cummins made sure the whole team was in view during the podium celebrations. Credit: Getty Images

But that was just one of his unheralded acts as the world celebrated the staggering achievement of his team.

He was then caught on camera handing the trophy to Australia’s Indian support staff and taking a photo of their beaming faces.

“How can I hate this guy now?” one Indian fan said on social media.

And another said: “C’mon Cummins, lemme hate you.”

But most Indian fans were simply left in awe by his selflessness.

“Great gesture by the Great Sportsman Pat Cummins the pure gentleman.. truly a champion,” another wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“True leader. Congrats Australia,” another Indian fan said.

“That’s is mind blowing. What a man!” another said.

“That’s really sweet and gentlemanly of him, he’s a great bloke. Although today’s results broke me,” another said.

Australia’s Indian support team pose for a photo with the trophy. Credit: X
Indian fans simply loved this gesture by the Aussie skipper. Credit: X

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Meanwhile, after Australia ambushed the red-hot hosts and silenced the massive crowd, Cummins maintained ODI cricket was indeed alive and very well.

Not since the early 2000s has 50-over cricket been the punchiest format of the game, with the surging popularity of franchise leagues cementing Twenty-20’s place as the format of the masses in the years since then.

Test cricket’s tradition has ensured its own longevity, leaving ODI cricket caught between the two formats, with its popularity unquestionably declining.

The constant resting of players outside of World Cups and the shift behind a TV paywall in Australia have also hurt the format, which has long struggled for context.

In the past three years, Australia has drawn an average crowd of only 8,453 to ODIs on home soil, compared to 12,385 for T20Is and 20,184 per day of Test cricket in that period.

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During their home triangular series in the summer of 2003/04, the last before the advent of the T20I, Australia drew an average crowd of 31,685.

But there was no shortage of interest around the 50-over format’s showpiece event in India over the past six weeks.

Afghanistan’s surprise sixth-placed finish, England’s constant struggles to find form, and the Netherlands’ upset defeat of South Africa kept eyes on the lower end of the table.

Higher up, India’s unwavering dominance was a spectacle, as was Australia’s recovery from a 0-2 start to qualify for the final on an eight-game winning streak.

But the decider was a throwback to high quality, tense, ODI cricket.

Australia became the first side to bowl India out all tournament, before Travis Head’s 137-run masterclass had them pulling off the chase before 130,000 stunned fans in Ahmedabad.

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Cummins believed the quadrennial tournament had the power to continue keeping the ODI format fresh amid concerns for its future.

“Maybe because we won, but I did fall in love with ODI again this World Cup,” Australia’s captain said.

“I think the scenario where every game really matters, it does mean a bit different to just a bilateral (series).

“The World Cup’s got such rich history, I’m sure it’s going to be around for a long time.

“Yeah, there’s so many wonderful games, so many wonderful stories within this last couple of months. So, I think there’s definitely a place (for ODI cricket).”

Such was Cummins’ reverence for the ODI triumph that he rated it Australia’s best achievement of the year, ahead of retaining the Ashes in England and winning the World Test Championship.

“The World Test Championship was huge,” he said.

“But an ODI World Cup, it’s the rich history I think, and to come over to a place like India where the conditions are so different to back home.

“It’s pretty gruelling, 11 games in five or six weeks, but the way the group stuck together and got through it holding the medal, that’s the pinnacle.”

– With AAP

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