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Cummins pins focus on T20 World Cup despite lucrative IPL deal

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins‘ prime focus will be on the T20 World Cup if the global restrictions on sports are lifted in time, even though he’d “love for the IPL to happen” as well.

Cummins, who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a lucrative sum of INR 15.5 crore (£1.6 million approx.) – the highest for any overseas player in the history of the IPL –  believes that the T20 World Cup is the ‘big tournament this year’.

Cricket, like every other sport in the world, is currently in a state of limbo after being suspended due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus. With the situation rapidly evolving, the current state of affairs have thrown multiple future events under a cloud of uncertainty, including the T20 World Cup in Australia in October.

The IPL has already been postponed and it looks increasingly like we might not get a 2020 season, with the possibility of accommodating the tournament before the end of the Indian summer diminishing by the day.

But if and when normalcy is restored, Cummins is sure of where he wants to be. “The T20 World Cup is something we’ve spoken about for the best part of two or three years,” he said. “Here in Australia to play a home World Cup, we know the ODI World Cup in 2015, that was absolutely a career highlight for me and I wasn’t even playing. I’d love to see that go ahead. That’s the big tournament this year for international cricket.

“I’d love for that to happen in a perfect world and if I was to be really greedy, I’d love for the IPL to happen as well. But just wait and see… Test cricket, that’s the pinnacle for cricket. Hopefully, we can play as much of that as possible but there’s so many more much bigger things at play. It’s all out of our hands.”

Beyond returning to the field, however, Cummins had one particular concern – one he felt could impact the way the game is played negatively, especially for a fast bowler in red-ball cricket. Cummins’ concern is born out of the apprehension with regards to using saliva to shine the ball, as it could pose a potential risk of spreading the virus.

“If it’s at that stage where we’re that worried about spread of risk it’s probably… I’m not sure we’d be playing sport and bringing ourselves out of isolation if we were that worried about it still,” Cummins said. “It’s a tough one; it’s actually something we spoke about before the SCG game against New Zealand, the one-dayer, we made it clear we’re obviously really keen to play, but if we’re going to have to have things in play that really change the way we play the game, then we don’t want to break the integrity of how we’ve played in the past.

“So we’ll see. I find that pretty unlikely, but obviously so many things around the world are changing, so you never know… changing celebrations and the way we interacted [against New Zealand], but the way we shined the ball didn’t change. Obviously different with red ball. As a bowler, I think it would be pretty tough going if we couldn’t shine the ball in a Test match.”

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