Mitchell Starc's sad revelation about family amid Pat Cummins situation
The Aussie cricket star has opened up about his own family tragedy while playing against India.
Mitchell Starc has expressed his empathy for Pat Cummins after the Aussie cricket captain revealed his mother Maria is in palliative care. Cummins won't return to India for the third Test starting on Wednesday, choosing to stay at home with his family during a difficult time.
Cummins flew home to Australia following the second Test, and revealed last week that he won't be available for the third match of the series. His availability for the fourth and final Test is also up in the air.
'MAKE A DECISION': Mark Taylor's call amid David Warner uncertainty
'SHOULD BE ASHAMED': Disgusting twist after news about Pat Cummins
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Starc said he knows exactly what his skipper and teammate is going through. During the 2020-21 home summer in Australia, Starc was dealing with his father's declining health and trying to perform against a determined India team.
Starc wanted the details of his family situation to remain private at the time, even when coming under immense scrutiny for under-par performances. Starc's father Paul died about a month after Australia lost the final Test of that classic series at the Gabba.
"Having been through a similar situation recently, it's a hard place to be trying to get your head around playing international cricket and for him to captain at the same time when you mind might be back home or with your family," Starc said in Indore on Monday. "It's hard enough being in a Covid bubble in the same country, let alone being overseas and having to captain international cricket.
"Pat's a very resilient and strong character and I'm sure he was going through some stuff silently. He's exactly where he needs to be now to give his love and support to his family around him. I can only imagine that it would have been incredibly hard being over here with obviously a lot of noise back home."
Starc said the Australian squad were doing their best to support Cummins and his family from afar. He said: "We are sons, partners, fathers first, people first, and cricketers second.
"He has 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 for him to go home and be around family to support the rest of his family and go through that not being overseas at the same time."
News of Cummins' mother's plight has touched the cricket world. The Barmy Army played the song 'Maria' from the musical 'West Side Story' in tribute during the second Test between England against New Zealand on Saturday.
Cummins later responded on Twitter: "This is amazing @TheBarmyArmy, thankyou. Mum loved watching this and felt very touched."
This is amazing @TheBarmyArmy, thankyou. Mum loved watching this and felt very touched ❤️ https://t.co/A1iwnJSUYn
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) February 27, 2023
Mitchell Starc 'good enough' to play third Test
Meanwhile, Starc has revealed he's raring to go for the third Test after missing the first two matches due to a finger injury he suffered in the Boxing Day Test in December. Starc will almost-certainly come in to the Aussie XI in place of Cummins.
The left-armer said he was feeling "good enough", but will need to field with a splint on his finger. "There's going to be a level of discomfort for a little while, I don't think it is going to be 100 per cent for a little while," he said.
"But the ball is coming out quite nicely and I feel like I'm pretty much at full tilt. It wouldn't be the first Test match I've played in some sort of discomfort.
"If I only played when I was at 100 per cent I would have only played five or 10 Tests. I'm happy with where it's at and I've built up enough of a pain threshold to deal with that stuff over the last 10 or 12 years."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.