Pat Cummins fires back at Justin Langer as he says Aussie team has ‘no cowards’ in it – and says cricketers can’t ‘leave their values at the door’ after they were slammed for decision to take a knee in Test match
- Aussie cricket skipper Pat Cummins has denied he is leading a ‘woke’ team
- Defended the decision to take the knee alongside the West Indies in first test
- Follows criticism from ex-coach Justin Langer, who labelled players ‘cowards’
Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins has defended the decision to take the knee ahead of the first test against the West Indies in Perth on Wednesday.
The fast bowler, 29, also laughed off suggestions he is leading a ‘woke’ XI in light of voicing his concerns about major sponsor Alinta Energy’s carbon footprint.
It has cost Cricket Australia $40million after Cummings recently expressed ‘ethical objections’ to the partnership – despite appearing in multiple ads for the company previously and having associations with similarly climate-damaging companies.
Speaking to reporters in Western Australia, Cummings said the criticism of the Australian side wasn’t a concern.
‘I think in this position you’re always going to upset people no matter whether you do or don’t do something,’ he said.
‘That’s fine. I know what I signed up for but I also think we are cricket players….you can’t leave your values at the door. People stand for different things.
Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins has defended the decision to take the knee ahead of the first test versus the West Indies in Perth.
The fast bowler also his concerns about major sponsor Alinta Energy’s carbon footprint – which ended a $40million sponsorship with Cricket Australia
Aaron Finch of Australia and Matthew Wade take the knee during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final in 2021
‘Taking a knee this week, we’re doing it for the West Indies, supporting equality.
‘Anyone who says that’s a bad thing, I’m not too bothered about.’
It comes as Cummings also insisted there was ‘no cowards ‘ in the Aussie changeroom – a reference to Justin Langer’s explosive comments in a recent podcast when he reflected on his tenure as head coach.
Langer later clarified his comments, stating he was not actually referring to the current crop of stars, who were leaked to the media as ‘cowards’.
‘There’s no cowards in the Australian cricket team, not ever,’ Cummins said.
‘I thank Justin for clarifying his remarks afterwards.
Perth cricket fans love their own and decorated former batsman and coach Justin Langer is at the top of the tree
Cummins reportedly felt Langer’s coaching style was ‘too intense’ and pushed behind the scenes for Andrew McDonald to replace him
‘He had a think about it and clarified it, so I thank him for that.
‘But we’re really proud of the last 12 months, how we’ve fronted up, the way we’ve played, the way we’ve conducted ourselves.
‘Players can certainly hold their heads high.’
With Langer a ‘golden haired boy’ in Western Australia given his status in the sport, there are private fears Cummings and his teammates could be subjected to boos from their own supporters in the series opener.
Former wicketkeeper Ian Healy is anticipating a ‘bit of angst’ at Optus Stadium.
Healy himself was subjected to boos from locals in Western Australia back in 1992 after replacing local gloveman Tim Zoehrer in the Australian XI.
He was followed down the players’ race by an angry fan who then chucked a rolled-up ball of newspaper into his face.
Pandemonium followed, with the overzealous supporter arrested and ejected from the WACA at the time.