Pat Cummins says suggestions his concerns about climate change cost Cricket Australia a $40 million sponsorship deal with Alinta Energy are “absolute rubbish”.
Cummins expressed his reservations to Cricket Australia about its sponsorship deal with Alinta Energy on the eve of the Test summer, sparking huge backlash towards the Australian Test captain.
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Cummins, who is a member of the Cricket for Climate group, decided not to appear in Alinta’s most recent commercials and has said he has no regrets about speaking up about climate change.
In October, Alinta announced it would end its four-year partnership with Cricket Australia in 2023 “due to a change in its brand strategy”.
Alinta’s logo featured heavily on the Australian team jersey during the summer but now Cricket Australia is on the hunt for a new primary sponsor.
But Cummins has told News Corp claims he had a say in the demise of CA’s deal with Alinta was wrong.
“It was complete rubbish,” he said.
“The nature of the position I am in you do get dragged into different things. It was one of those moments you have to live with people you don’t know having opinions about you.”
Cummins has been criticised for flying first class and driving an environmentally challenging car, and he continues to be hammered on social media for his environmental beliefs.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,’’ he said of constant criticism from the public.
“I am not doing things to please absolutely everyone. Steve Jobs said he would go and sell ice cream if he wanted to do that.’’
“My generation and people around that are passionate about different things. They are opened minded to things … some people can’t leave those values at the door. They can’t walk past those values. If that creates different conversations maybe that is a good thing.
“I don’t think I shout it from the roof tops. I just try and do a lot myself to make little changes in my life if I can. If I can make a little bit of difference through my actions or Cricket for Climate I am not too bothered by people picking holes in it.
“My job is to lead the team and do my best. If there are other things I am passionate about that I can think I can make a difference with then from time to time I can share them.’’
“Just because no-one is going to be absolutely perfect does not mean we all throw our hands together and blow up,” he said.
“If you start from the starting point that maybe we can all do one thing a little better that is a good thing.
“As soon as you enter this space you get people wanting to tear you down and try and end the conversation for whatever reasons. I have never quite understood why it is. It is such a divisive topic.’’
Cummins is gearing up for the Test tour of India, which begins on February 9 in Nagpur.
Australia will be aiming for its first Test series win in India since 2004.