Australian cricket has once again been thrown into chaos with the overnight resignation of new Test skipper Pat Cummins, only hours after his appointment.
With less than two weeks to the first Ashes Test, redfaced Cricket Australia administrators accepted Cummin’s letter of resignation after sordid details emerged from the 28-year-old speedster’s past.
Melbourne’s The Sun-Herald posted on its website early last night exclusive allegations that Cummins as a twenty-year-old had not voted Liberal at the September 2013 federal election that swept Labor from power and installed Tony Abbott in The Lodge.
Cricket Australia acting chairman Richard Freudenstein said this morning: “We had gone over Pat’s entire life with a fine tooth comb – well, our teams of investigators had – and found nothing that would have rung alarm bells, although as a child he did miss Sunday School a few times.
“But we are all responsible for our actions and by the age of 20 with his Test career already under way, Pat should have been aware of his responsibilities to both the spirit and conservative traditions of Australian Test cricket.
“His disgraceful conduct at that 2013 polling booth was not the folly of some misguided youthful nonsense. And being in the Test side, it’s not as if any of his peers would have nurtured or tolerated such wickedness.
“The Don [Sir Donald Bradman] would be rolling in his grave over Pat’s unpatriotic and treasonable act. I mean, really, what on earth was he thinking?
“As soon as I was informed of Pat’s terrible indiscretion, I organised a zoom call with my fellow Cricket Australia board members and I can tell you we have all learned the bitter lesson from the Tim Paine cover-up.
“We decided unanimously that Pat would call a media conference, fess up to his shocking mistake and accept CA’s decision that his captaincy was now very much on notice, he would now be closely monitored as he strove to retrieve his reputation and that would be helped if he joined the Liberal Party and grabbed a five-for in both England innings at the Gabba.
“But unfortunately, as Foxtel’s former chief executive, I felt obliged to tell Rupert Murdoch who then said simply from New York: ‘No, He’s got to go’ or words to that effect.”