Australian captain Pat Cummins holds the trophy after winning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023. (PTI/file photo)
Ahmedabad: After leading Australia to a record-extending sixth World Cup title, Pat Cummins is understandably ecstatic. He carried the trophy to the press conference room and sported a wide grin with the winner’s medal dangling around his neck.
"That’s huge, it is the pinnacle of international cricket," he declared.
"You only get a shot at it every four years. Even if you have a 10-year career, you might only get two chances at it. And the whole cricket world stops with this World Cup. So, it doesn’t get any better. These are the moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life," the 30-year-old added.
Talking about tension ahead of the match, Cummins said: "I was a little bit nervous this morning you know just pacing around waiting for it to get started, just seeing the sea of blue shirts in the hotel and then at the ground, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Awesome day, the good thing was they weren’t too noisy for most of it."
Cummins also explained his decision to field first in a pressure game like the final. "I thought there was half-a-chance of the wicket getting better tonight and you know in a World Cup game you can make a mistake bowling and it doesn’t really matter too much, but if you make a mistake batting and you’re under pressure it can be fatal so I just felt like it was the right time to go out and have a bowl," he said.
He then heaped praise on Man of the Match Travis Head. "Travis was phenomenal. A lot of credit should also go to selectors Andrew McDonald and George Bailey, to take a punt. He had a broken finger, a broken hand for half of the tournament, to keep him in the squad was a huge risk. And the medical team were fantastic to get him into a place where he could perform. I think we could have been made to look really silly if that didn’t pay off, but you got to take those risks to win a tournament. Trav takes the game on, plays with a smile, just puts the pressure right back onto the opposition and is great fun to be around. So, I couldn’t be happier for Trav."
Cummins rated the World Cup win the best in a year the Australians have won the Ashes as well as the World Test Championship. "The World Test Championship was huge, it’s a two-year campaign but yet an ODI World Cup has a rich history. And to win it in a place like India where you know the conditions are so different to back home… it’s pretty gruelling, 11 games in 5-6 weeks but the group stuck together and got through it," he said.
Asked if he would pitch for the ODI format to continue, Cummins said: "I did fall in love with ODI again this World Cup. I’m sure it’s going to be around for a long time. There’s so many wonderful games, so many wonderful stories within this last couple of months so I think there’s definitely a place."