The cricket world has put its arms around the Cummins family as they continue to grieve the loss of Maria Cummins, mother to Test captain Pat and his four siblings after she lost her battle with breast cancer.
Pat Cummins posted an emotional tribute to his late mother on Saturday, following a memorial in the family’s native Blue Mountains on Friday morning.
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“Love you Mum,” he wrote alongside a series of family photographs.
“Forever in our hearts.”
Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson commented “my heart goes out to you and your family,” alongside messages of support from former fast bowler Brett Lee and New Zealand captain Tim Southee.
Aussie TV star Andy Lee, Socceroos captain Mat Ryan and tennis great Dylan Alcott were also among the high-profile responders.
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.
The news was revealed last week with the Australian side wearing black armbands in recognition of Maria’s life.
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 in Indore 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 the 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.”
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