Pat Cummins. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Australian captain Pat Cummins has set his sights on participating in the upcoming IPL mini-auction and the 2024 season, as he gears up for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA next June. He had withdrawn from the 2023 IPL season due to a demanding schedule that included the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and the Ashes series, all within a short span. His return to the IPL is a strategic move in his T20 World Cup preparations.
Cummins had his most recent T20I outing during the Super 12 stage of the 2022 T20 World Cup. With 2023 predominantly featuring red-ball and ODI contests, the shorter format took a step back. In anticipation of Australia’s ODI World Cup semi-final clash with South Africa, he expressed that his participation in the IPL serves as a valuable opportunity to reacquaint himself with the T20 format following an extended hiatus.
“I feel like I haven’t played a heap of T20 cricket and in some ways I feel like I haven’t played my best T20 cricket for a little while. I’m really excited, I’m probably going to go into the IPL auction for next year to try to get some games before that World Cup and push a case to not only make the side but get back to how I feel like I can bowl in T20 cricket,” said Cummins
Pat Cummins’ lack of T20 exposure is concern for Australia eyeing for World Cup
In the grand 2022 auction, the right-arm pacer secured a contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a substantial sum of Rs 7.25 crore. It’s worth noting that in 2019, he made history by commanding a staggering Rs 15.25 crore, becoming the costliest foreign player of that era. However, the two-time IPL champions chose to part ways with Cummins, along with several other international stars who opted out of the 2023 season.
The 30-year-old had emerged as a prime contender to assume the leadership mantle for Australia in the T20 format, following Aaron Finch’s retirement. However, a pre-T20 series injury sidelined the pacer, and the reins of captaincy were handed over to Mitchell Marsh. Marsh steered the team to an emphatic 3-0 clean sweep against South Africa in their away series, showcasing strong leadership in Cummins’ absence.