‘Play really good cricket but… live your life': Cummins shares leadership mantra inspired by his mother

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Australian captain Pat Cummins has revealed the personal struggles and lessons that have shaped his leadership style, emphasising the importance of living a full life both on and off the cricket field.

Cummins, reflecting on the challenges he faced during the Test tour of India in February 2023, spoke candidly about the emotional turmoil he experienced as he grappled with his mother’s illness. He was heavily scrutinised as his side fell to a 2-0 deficit in the series, which kept the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Indian hands.

“I knew when I was getting on that plane (to the India tour) I was going to have to come back in a couple of weeks,” Cummins told cricket.com.au. “Maybe only a handful of people knew that was going to be the case. For those couple of weeks, I was in India, especially now I look back at it, my mind was not in India. It was back home the whole time,” he added.

The passing of his mother, Maria, prompted Cummins to reassess his approach to leadership. Inspired by his own experiences he encourages players to embrace life beyond cricket, whether it’s exploring new cities, indulging in hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones.

“Flying away … that’s the hardest time of my life, easily. I probably felt, the 12 months leading in, any time I flew away, I was like, ‘time is finite here. I’m making a deliberate choice to go and play somewhere rather than spend it at home.”

Cummins’s philosophy is rooted in a desire to make the most of every moment, a lesson he learned from his mother’s passing. He believes in creating space for players to live fulfilling lives while representing their country, recognizing that time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted.

“If we’re going to be away from our families, let’s make sure we’re having the time of our lives. Play really good cricket, but … pack your golf clubs, bring your coffee machine, if we’re in London, go and explore, go and see a show.

“We’re trying to create as much space in the diary for people to be able to live their lives. It’s definitely a lesson learned from mum. I don’t want to waste any time.”

The ethos was evident during the recent Test series in New Zealand, where Australian players balanced their competitive spirit on the field with leisure activities off the field, including golf outings and cultural experiences.

Australia have won the World Test Championship, retained The Ashes, won the ODI World Cup last year and have won five of six Tests with Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand this summer.



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