Australian cricket has rallied around the Cummins family after the passing of Pat Cummins’ mother Maria after a long battle with illness.
Maria Cummins lost her battle with breast cancer, having been diagnosed initially in 2005.
She entered palliative care recently, with Pat Cummins departing India to be with her alongside his family, which includes brothers Matt and Tim, as well as sisters Laura and Kara.
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The sad news was revealed on Friday with Cricket Australia releasing a statement to say the side would be wearing black armbands in honour of Maria’s life.
The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Cummins had been in touch with the team camp over the past few days, thanking his teammates for their support.
The Cummins family hail from Mount Riverview in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, with all three brothers playing first grade cricket for Penrith and both sisters playing high level netball.
Cummins has been vocal about his passion for social justice, and says it comes from his parents, who volunteer in local feed-the-homeless programs and instilled in him a strong social conscience.
Maria had been in remission from her original diagnosis for a significant period of time, and Pat wrote about the way it affected him as a primary-school aged boy in a 2018 column.
“Mum has always been incredibly strong,” he wrote.
The world paid tribute to Maria after the news of her passing.
Prime Minster Anthony Albanese tweeted: “Very sad to learn Maria Cummins has passed away. My deepest sympathies to @patcummins30 and his family for their loss. All Australians will be thinking of you today.”
Fox Sports’ Brendan Julian and Brad Haddin shared their condolences before the start of play as well.
The cricket world rallied around Cummins once it became apparent his mother was not well, with the Barmy Army sharing a video of their trumpeter playing ‘Maria’ from West Side Story in recognition of Maria Cummins during the second Test between England and New Zealand.
“This is amazing, thank you,” he wrote in reply.
“Mum loved watching this and felt very touched.”
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc said the cricket community had been incredibly supportive after the loss of his father Paul, who died of cancer a matter of weeks after 2020-21 series against India.
“Having been through a similar situation recently, it’s a hard place to be,” Starc said. “Trying to get your head around playing international cricket and for him to captain at the same time when your mind might be back home or with your family.
“We’re sons, partners, fathers first, people first, and cricketers second. He’s got the complete support of the group. It’s been tough to see him go through it from afar, so nice for him to get the opportunity to go home, be around the family, support the rest of his family and to go through that while not being overseas at the same time.”