The Australian cricket team has been rocked by news of the death of captain Pat Cummins' mother Maria after she lost her battle with breast cancer. The players wore black armbands on day two of the fourth Test against India in Ahmedabad, as a mark of respect for their skipper's tragic loss.
Cummins ruled himself out of the fourth and final Test after returning home before the third match in Indore to be by his ailing mother's side in Sydney. The Aussie skipper played no part in Australia's third Test win after his mother had been admitted into palliative care.
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In a heartbreaking update before play got underway on Friday, news filtered through that Cummins' mother had lost her battle with cancer. "We are deeply saddened at the passing of Maria Cummins overnight," Cricket Australia said in a statement on social media.
"On behalf of Australian Cricket, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Pat, the Cummins family and their friends. The Australian Men's team will today wear black armbands as a mark of respect."
Our deepest condolences to Pat and the Cummins family, our thoughts are with you with all during this time. pic.twitter.com/mAOpW9ReUk
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 10, 2023
Maria died in Sydney on Thursday night, three weeks after Cummins returned home. Australia's players were told of her death on Friday ahead of a crucial second day in Ahmedabad as they look to level the series 2-2.
The tragic news was met with an outpouring of support for Cummins from around the cricket world. Fans offered their condolences to the Australia captain about his family's devastating loss.
Very sad news as Pat Cummins' mother has passed away. The Australia team will wear black armbands today. May she rest in peace and thoughts with the Cummins family at this time.
— Faiz Fazel (@ThatCrick8Guy) March 10, 2023
Condolences to pat Cummins and his family.. may her soul rest in peace 🙏
— Sowji⁷🍁🌈 (@Gashinahere) March 10, 2023
This is sad let's hope pat Cummins stays strong
— Aarush munjal (@tennis20079) March 10, 2023
So sad! Thoughts and sympathies go out to Pat and the Cummins family! https://t.co/4qLVT6Dg1k
— Drew Semmens (@drewie_5) March 10, 2023
Pat Cummins touched by world's support
The plight of Cummins' mother has touched the cricket world, with the Barmy Army playing the song 'Maria' from the musical West Side Story in tribute during England's Test against New Zealand last month. "This is amazing @TheBarmyArmy, thank you. Mum loved watching this and felt very touched," Cummins tweeted in response to the video.
Australia's players, coaches and staff have been highly supportive of Cummins' call to take leave mid-series to be closer to his family. After last week's memorable nine-wicket win against India in Indore, the team immediately checked in with Cummins through video calls and messages.
Speaking in 2021, Cummins opened up on the bond he shared with his mother and revealed how she battled breast cancer when he was in high school. "I remember her telling us 'I'm not going to be my normal self for the next little while,' at the outset," he told Athletes Voice.
"Mum went through all the chemo and radiation therapy. It lasted about six months. She's one of the lucky ones. She came out the other side.
"As a kid you think, 'Mum said it's going to be alright so it's going to be alright.' It's not until you get a bit older when you think 'That was really serious'."
Steve Smith is filling in as captain in Cummins' absence during the final two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar series. The Aussies already booked their spot in the World Test Championship final in June by winning the third Test, but will be desperate to finish the four-Test tour with a win to level the series at 2-2.
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