Australia Test and ODI captain Pat Cummins has rubbished claims that his views on environmental issues caused Cricket Australia a loss of AUD 40 million in sponsorship with Alinta Energy. A week before Australia embark on the tour of India for the Border-Gavaskar series, Cummins is again courting an old controversy which began in October last year when he refused to appear in any advertisements for the sponsor. Reports in SMH had then said that the pace bowler had a meeting with Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley expressing “concerns over the national side’s deal with Alinta Energy”.
Alinta Energy then decided it would not renew its sponsorship after June 2023 due to a “change in its brand strategy”, CA had said in a statement in October, 2022.
Cummins indicated on Tuesday the his position as captain made him vulnerable to controversies.
“The nature of the position I am in, you get dragged into different things,” Cummins told News Corp.
“It was one of those moments you have to live with — people you don’t know having opinions about you. My generation and people around that are passionate about different things. They are open-minded to things; some people can’t leave those values at the door,” added Cummins, who will be arriving in India next week for the four-Test series beginning February 9 at Nagpur.
Earlier in October last year, Cummins had said there was no harm in expressing ones thoughts as one has to keep a balance while making decisions.
“It has always been a balance. We have seen certain players make decisions based on religions, or certain foods they eat, where they won’t partner with specific partners,” Cummins had said.
“Every organisation has a responsibility to do what’s right for the sport and what they think is right for the organisation, and, I hope, society when it moves forward.
“It is a balance when you make decisions about who you are going to welcome into the cricket family,” he said.
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