Pat Cummins nursed a lot of anger and nowhere to direct it as he plonked on his couch in isolation and watched the second Ashes Test.
- The Australian captain was ruled out as a close contact of a COVID case while dining in Adelaide
- He said while watching the Test on TV he became angry but admits there is no-one to blame for his misfortune
- He said teammates Nathan Lyon and Mitch Starc were meant to be dining with him, but gave up on waiting for him to arrive
The Australian Test captain was a dramatic withdrawal from the team on the morning of the Adelaide match, ruled out under South Australian COVID-19 rules because he was deemed a close contact.
Cummins had gone out to dinner at a steak restaurant in Adelaide with a friend the night before and a patron at the next table was identified as a positive case.
So rather than lead his team, Cummins was forced into isolation and eventually flew home to Sydney on a private plane.
Cummins is back with the team and spoke about his saga on Christmas Day, on the eve of the Boxing Day Ashes Test.
“I [was] really angry — but I don’t know who at,” he said at MCG training.
“There was no-one to blame.
“Once it became apparent, the state rules, you have to follow them.”
Cummins left the restaurant as soon as he learnt about the positive case and initially thought that a negative test for him would be the end of it.
But it quickly became clear that was not the case.
“We knew it might pop at some stage in this series. I didn’t think — or hope — it was going to be me,” he said.
“You abide by the protocols, but there [was] hardly any COVID around, so I didn’t factor it in at all until the bloke popped up next to me and said he’s positive.
Lucky escape for Starc and Lyon
It could have been even worse, with teammates Mitch Starc and Nathan Lyon dining outside at the same restaurant.
They were supposed to be sitting with Cummins, but he hadn’t checked his phone for 40 minutes and so they lost patience and dined separately.
Had Cummins checked his phone earlier, it could have been all three of them out of the Test.
“They walked in angry — they kicked up a stink and sat out the back,” he said of Lyon and Starc.
“It’s just one player, it’s slightly bigger news because it’s COVID and the captain, but it’s not the end of the world, it’s not a huge change.”
It was the first time Cummins had missed a home Test in about five years and initially, he thought he would cope.
“But it was good. It was a different perspective.”