Pat Cummins interview: Australian assures more COVID-19 assist to India, dismisses thoughts of exiting tournament midway

With India currently engaged in a harrowing battle against the novel of coronavirus, Pat Cummins managed to bring smiles in the Indian faces as the Australian and Kolkata Knight Riders pacer donated a generous USD 50,000 in the PM CARES fund. 

Soon after the cricketer’s noble gesture, his countryman and former Australia cricketer Brett Lee also joined hands in helping India and as the week progresses other cricketers have also come up in their own ways to assist in the critical situation.  

In an exclusive interview with WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma Upadhyay, Cummins discusses about a host of topics and more importantly why the 27-year-old chose to donate in the PM Cares Fund and his take on Australians opting out of the tournament midway.   

“First off all we are in the middle of the IPL, which is happening here in India when the situation outside isn’t great. I’ve been playing in India for so many years, the people out here are so kind and have a deep place in my heart. So, I felt like doing my little bit,” said Cummins while responding to a question on his humanitarian gesture. 

“Just chatting with a couple of guys here at Kolkata Knight Riders and they have been really generous in their donation to the PM CARES fund over the last year. Shahrukh (Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan) donated himself and that is the way to go,” the 27-year-old added.  

Cummins also mentioned that looking at the ongoing crisis, which India is facing currently due to COVID-19, groups have been formed in Australia to help the country. “People in Australia would also like to help, so we are planning to setup something there to direct the resources to some charity over here,” the Aussie said.    

Cummins backs IPL amidst raging pandemic 

The lucrative T20 league has come under heavy criticism as the tournament continues in full throttle country while India witnesses a massive surge in coronavirus cases. However, Cummins asserted that cricket or in this case the IPL can continue as it provides people with respite for at least 3-4 hours every evening. 

“I don’t think so. We are doing everything we don’t take any resources from the frontline. There’s an aspect that every night we are playing for 3-4 hours, hopefully contributes to people stay at home more as it has been hard routine for them and we can help them get through each day,” the Aussie said while sharing his views on IPL going ahead in such scenario. 

Discussing the current atmosphere in the dressing room as the country witnesses an alarming surge in the active COVID cases, the pacer stated that the Kolkata franchise, which is co-owned by Shahrukh Khan, has been very helpful and the team is open to help any members if the need arises. “Our team has been really honest and open that if anybody needs any support, us as a team will help in whatever way needed,” Cummins said.   

Bio-bubble and Australian players exiting  

Meanwhile, Cummins does address that staying in a robust bio-bubble structure for tournaments is tough but credits previous experiences from 2020 on how to deal with it. 

“I think last year gave us a good insight on how to handle the cricket and life outside the bubble. It’s a year now and we are lucky to play in the current circumstances. We’ve been doing this last year also while traveling overseas and feel safe. The cricket all being played without crowds. All of these have been hard,” Cummins said.  

The 27-year-old during the interview also dismissed any thoughts about leaving the tournament midway, like his fellow countrymen – Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, and Kane Richardson. The trio opted out from further continuing in the competition this week.  

“No, I haven’t given that any thoughts. I know what I’ve signed up for and knew when we flew here few weeks ago,” the Australian said. 

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