Pat Cummins was just six-years-old when Steve Waugh’s star-studded Australian team won the World Cup title in 1999. He remembers watching the final of 2003 when Ricky Ponting’s men added another trophy to their cabinet, beating India in the summit clash.
Two decades later, Cummins will be leading the Aussies in yet another World Cup final on Sunday, against a familiar opponent.
He admits that it will be an ‘absolute privilege’ to clinch the title and create history.
“It would be huge (to win). We were all kids not too long ago, watching some of those great teams win the 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups. That’s the opportunity ahead of us tomorrow, which is really exciting,” Cummins said on the eve of the final.
“As a captain, it would be an absolute privilege to lift the trophy with these great bunch of blokes. It would be awesome and in terms of the pinnacle, I think it is right up there. It’s got the longest history of a world event where all the teams compete. You only get a shot at it every four years,” he said.
So far, being a part of Australia’s World Cup-winning squad in 2015 remains the ‘highlight’ for Cummins, but he hopes to do one better at the Narendra Modi Stadium. “Even if you have a long career, you might only play in two of these events. 2015 is still a career highlight for me, so I think tomorrow if we win, we might pip it,” Cummins said with a smile.
The start of the tournament wasn’t quite bright for Australia as it lost its first couple of games before returning to winning ways. It went on to defeat South Africa in the semifinal of the tournament in a low-scoring thriller at Eden Gardens, and it hopes to continue its dream run in front of a partisan crowd. “The crowd’s obviously going to be very one-sided, but there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that’s the aim for us tomorrow,” Cummins said.
“You have just got to embrace every part of it, every part of a final even you know in the lead-up there’s going to be noise and more people. You just can’t get overwhelmed. You got to be up for it, you gotta love it and just know whatever happens it’s fine, but you just want to finish the day with no regrets…”
Australia would hope so, too.
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