By Taryn Elder
At just 22 years of age, Pat Cummins has already achieved what most young twenty year old cricket fans can only dream of, representing his country in international cricket. The Sydney Thunder recruit first put on the baggy green cap at just 18 years of age, and has already proved that he can mix it with some of the best in the world. Since his debut with the Australian team, he’s also been a star force for Big Bash club Sydney Thunder. We caught up with the Sydney based player on one of his rare days off.
So Pat you're a Sydney local, were you born and raised in the big smoke?
I was actually born in the Blue Mountains, so for a number of years I was travelling a few hours a day in and out of the city for cricket training. I actually use to carpool with some of the other boys, including Tasmanian cricket player Jordan Silk. I guess you could say we have plenty of funny stories from our time on the road together.
You know what they say, what happens in the car stays in the car!
So are you based on the beaches or in the city?
I actually live in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, not to far from the Sydney Cricket Ground.
That's pretty convenient for you on game day.
Yes, it certainly is!
Do you come from a large family?
I actually have two brothers and two sisters and of course Mum and Dad.
When did you start to take an interest in the game of cricket?
Dad always loved cricket and so I guess growing up he was always really keen for us to start playing. I started playing backyard cricket as a kid with the rest of my family. We'd start playing early in the day and wouldn’t stop until the sun went down. We even use to use to mow the backyard to create a perfect pitch down the middle. It was pretty serious stuff, I use to water it to keep it nice and green.
Well you might have a career as a greenskeeper after your cricketing career is over!
You never know...
So when did you start thinking about making the switch to playing cricket professionally?
I use to play representative cricket for New South Wales in the under 17's program which felt like a step up in terms of professionalism. It was there that I focused on learning about the fundamental skills needed for T20 cricket and learnt about recovery, nutrition and I guess everything that makes you become the best athlete you can be. It all happened pretty quickly after that.
Yes, it certainly did. How did it feel being chosen to play for Australia at the age of only 18?
It was a pretty great moment. I remember receiving the news when I was on a train travelling back home from a day at University. The Chairman of the Australian Cricket Selectors rang to to tell me that I had been given a Cricket Australia contract. I guess at the time I was pretty surprised and a little shocked.
So your first debut for Australia was with the T20 squad against South Africa, how nerve wracking was it stepping up to play with the big guns of Australian cricket?
When I first found out I would be playing for Australia, I had a million thoughts running through my head. My first thought was that I really didn’t want to embarrass myself as a bowler, and really wanted the ball to land on the pitch. It was a nerve wracking few days for sure. I also remember thinking how incredible it would be to play alongside Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. I went from watching these guys on the TV, to playing alongside them all in the space of a few months. Being part of that playing group was pretty surreal, and wearing the baggy green cap on my head is something I will never forget.
Do you have any hobbies outside of cricket?
I really love getting down to the beach. As a family we always spent our summers at the beach. I really love the Northern Beaches of NSW. I spend a lot of time at Narrabeen Beach, there's plenty of room and it's a lot quieter compared to the inner city beaches.
Any other weird and wonderful talents outside of cricket?
Definitely not music or dancing. I do tend to know a lot of pointless facts about things. Also some of the boys from cricket and I have been doing a lot of crosswords lately. We’re starting to get pretty good at the fast crosswords.
So a possible career in crosswords also after cricket, you're going to be pretty busy?
Hmmm, I'm not sure how much money there is in being a professional crossword player!
Good point! Stick to cricket.
Finish this sentence. If I wasn’t a cricket player I’d be.....
At uni wishing I was a cricket player.
So what are you studying at university?
I'm studying a Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology (UTS) in Sydney, majoring in marketing, sports management and public relations. I'm almost done, only four subjects to go! By the end of this year I will be fully qualified for….. well…. I’m not sure.
Three words to describe you?
Relaxed, competitive, dry.
Yes, a lot of Dad jokes.
I use to have chickens growing up but not at the moment.
Favourite holiday spot?
I love Italy, especially Cinque Terre along the coast. I went there as a kid and recently had the chance to go back. In Australia we use to visit my uncle's farm near Goulburn in NSW. He has an old shack we use to stay in on the farm and I use to get in trouble for wearing the same clothes for days on end.
Speaking of clothes, have you made any hideous fashion mistakes over the past few years?
I was a big fan of sportswear. I use to wear my training gear everywhere, for the whole day, it didn’t matter where I was going or what I was doing. If I was going to movies with my mates, I’d just wear my sports gear. I then progressed to mixing sports gear with casual wear. It was pretty terrible.
What songs would be on your favourites list?
I’m a big fan of alternative music, but anything really. I love an easy going beat, something that is good to listen to on a Sunday morning.
Most famous person you have in your phone?
Probably a few cricket players.
Something we might not know about you?
My sister slammed the door on my fingers when I was younger and I lost the tip of my finger.
Luckily it hasn't affected your bowling ability. Thanks for the chat Pat.