Australia news

Cummins nurses sore back

Daniel Brettig

October 31, 2012

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Pat Cummins is congratulated on a wicket, Mumbai Indians v Sydney Sixers, Champions League T20, Durban, October 22, 2012
Pat Cummins has again returned home sore from South Africa © Getty Images

Pat Cummins' young career may again be held up by injury as he awaits the results of scans on a sore back following his return from the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa.

Though he arrived in Sydney hopeful of a cameo role on the final day of New South Wales' Sheffield Shield match against Queensland starting on Friday, Cummins was also nursing back discomfort following his exertions to help the Sydney Sixers win the CLT20 title.

He went on from the airport to have his back examined, also meeting with CA's physio Alex Kountouris. "Pat came back from Champions League T20 with some back soreness," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said. "He had preliminary scans today and is due to have further investigations over the next few days to establish a diagnosis."

While the scans may yet clear Cummins of any major problems, they are another unhappy episode in a year that has been beset by injury troubles since his compelling Test match debut against South Africa in Johannesburg a little less than a year ago.

Cummins was man of the match as Australia squeaked home by two wickets, but foot soreness that developed across the match turned out to be the early signs of a stress fracture, keeping Cummins out of the entire home summer. He next played for Australia on the ODI tour of England in June, but was promptly forced home by a side strain.

Having recovered from that injury, Cummins turned out for Australia on T20 duty in the UAE against Pakistan and the World T20 in Sri Lanka, bowling well in combination with the left-armer Mitchell Starc.

However his 19-year-old body remains clearly fragile, and will now be monitored extra closely by CA as they try to work out whether Cummins may still figure in Australia's home Test matches against South Africa and Sri Lanka.

"You want to play as much cricket as possible and it starts with the Shield and I haven't played Shield for close to 18 months now so I am chomping at the bit to get out there," Cummins said on his return home. "It's ok that is mapped out three or four months in advance but it does hurt when you are sitting on the sidelines and you feel relatively fit and there are other people playing."

Queensland had indicated their unhappiness at being made to wait to hear which players would be nominated as replacements for the Blues Australian representatives to be pulled out of the final day of their Sheffield Shield match in Brisbane. However the delay has been partly due to the wait for fitness reports on Cummins and also Brad Haddin, who nursed a wounded finger through the latter phases of the CLT20.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Meety on (November 3, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

@Hammond on (November 02 2012, 23:45 PM GMT) - just 4 overs into an FC game though!

Posted by Hammond on (November 2, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

@ rickyvoncanterbury- Finn is fine, he doesn't collapse in a heap every time he plays in a T20 game.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 1, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

@ Hammond... you forgot Finn India 3-0

Posted by stormy16 on (November 1, 2012, 7:04 GMT)

I am afraid this is really bad news but the good thing is he is only 19. CA surely have to nurse him along and not rush him which could risk losing pace and a quality talent. Ironically SA are missing De lange who is also very young and talented. Thankfully both teams have a production line of quality fast bowlers.

Posted by Meety on (November 1, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

@RightArmEverything on (October 31 2012, 23:38 PM GMT) - ditto! I like his posts - but man he can rub people up the wrong way!

Posted by Hammond on (November 1, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

And so the chocolate soldiers start to fall. 3-0 South Africa, their bowlers can handle 5 over stints at a time.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (October 31, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

@hyclass, your comments are always interesting but your constant referral to your own previous posts has a kind of 'I told you so' stink which is only a distraction from the points you raise.

Posted by L4zybugg3r on (October 31, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

Enough, no more queue jumping for this guy, he's beginning to sound more susceptible than Watson. Two years in shield cricket before considering him for tests again.

Posted by Meety on (October 31, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

@ ankit_barry on (October 31 2012, 10:40 AM GMT) - actually you can tell them what format to play - IF they are on a central contract. IF the player holds a central contract - he is effectively anemployee! It is then up to him - to do a Tait or Malinga & retire from Tests! @ jmcilhinney on (October 31 2012, 13:37 PM GMT) - the stop start nature of T20 TOURNAMENTS - (1 over spells), a game every couple of days - flights here & there (more so in BBL & IPL) - can have far more devasting effect than a Test match - with ONE proviso, the loading leading into the match is sufficient. I would like to think he is just sore from a long flight almost straight after a game?

Posted by disco_bob on (October 31, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

I might also add that since Clarke eschewed the T20 roadshow, he has surprised everyone with his performances including his captaincy and is on the verge of regaining the no.1 position in a surprisingly brief time. Would he have achieved that had he gone for the money available in T20. We shall never know but I'd guess it would be pretty unlikely. I do not deny that there are people who genuinely enjoy the T20 format and there's nothing wrong with that but there are genuine complaints to be made that are not 'cheap shots'

Posted by disco_bob on (October 31, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney, no need to editorialise by using the word 'bandwagon', there is legitimate opposition to T20. One could proffer the scenario where instead of flouncing around in a T20 with all dancing cheergirls, Cummins could have been working on his fitness and bulk.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (October 31, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

I think he's just scared about bowling to the likes of Tsolekile. Safer on the sidelines.

Posted by   on (October 31, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

He's a teenager bowling 140kmph+. While his action is okay, it's not perfect. Injuries are going to happen. I'd suspect this will get better over time, in the meantime i think we all need to just relax a bit and see how he develops. Hope its not serious.

Posted by raghavan88 on (October 31, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Sore back after playing a couple of T20's?Cummins surely looks more fragile and skinny than I thought earlier.Similar to our very own Varun Aaron.Desperately needs some care and plenty of extra muscle.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 31, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

There's a bunch of anti-T20 bandwagon jumpers here. I'm a Test cricket fan and I will watch T20 for a bit of fun if it's on but blaming this on T20 is just stupid. Cummins could have bowled more overs in a day in a Test match than he did this whole CLT20 so it's nothing to do with T20. The guy is tall, young and has an action that isn't conducive to longevity. If he's going to break down like this then it will happen as much or more often from playing Test cricket than T20. Didn;t his first major injury occur after his first Test match? Please try to make sense when posting instead of just taking cheap shots.

Posted by hyclass on (October 31, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

I cant imagine how intelligent people can behave this way.There is zero information to determine whether this kid is physically capable of sustaining a 1st class career.He has only played 4 1st class matches ever. Before he was chosen for the Test match, I suggested that given his youth and the fact that he had just been injured playing the Shield final, only his 3rd 1st class match,while taking 4 for 140, that to play him in a 5 day match could lead to long term injuries that might threaten his future.He was injured playing in the Test & then twice more subsequently. There is absolutely no proof other than a general impression of his intelligence and physique, that his body is capable of long format cricket.Many players fail to make the jump. There is a failure to recognise that CA wanted him picked as a T20 poster boy to try and authenticate their push for BBL before the Argus Review results a year ahead of schedule. They did not and could not have had any regard for his well being.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 31, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

And to think he was being strongly consisder for test cricket...

Posted by Selassie-I on (October 31, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

The only thing this 'promising generation' of fast bowlers are promising is a career spend on the physio table.

Posted by Moppa on (October 31, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

I think @Marcio is right - Cummins' action doesn't look 'easy' or repeatable day in day out. Having said that, I think his action is a bit like Jason Gillespie's, and whilst Dizzy had a bad injury record early on, a lot of that was freak stuff like his collision with Steve Waugh. From about 2001 on he was quite resilient. Fingers crossed (so much for 'sports science'!)

Posted by derpherp on (October 31, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

Guys you need to remember he's only 19!! Brett lee and Jason Gillespie were just like him when they were young as well. He may need a change his bowling action like Lee did, but his body is still also growing. Shame he hasn't played any first class games in a year though

Posted by ankit_barry on (October 31, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

Get a life guys, either pay him as much for not playing T20 or face this, u can't deny a person money by saying that u'll not play T20's & not earn because u've got to play tests. IMO good that this injury has been identified right now rather than surfacing during 1st test. Mervo: 4 overs/day workload is much easier than avg 18 overs/day, this injury has got nothing to do with T20's.

Posted by   on (October 31, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

with that bowling action he will be with the physio very often. The twisting of his core is the problem.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (October 31, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

I like Meety can be optomistic about a bad back (ouch) but it could explain some of the rubbish he has been dishing up lately, I do not want to start anything but i was crediting bloody 20/20, now he has gone from not long ago (if fit) being a test certainty, to now he would be lucky to get a run for the Warriors haha.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (October 31, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

Hmmmm - Until I read this it was a side strain and I was desperately hoping wasn't Intercostal muscles - which take even longer than a groin to come right (six months or so). Not sure if happier or sadder if it's a back. Hard to tell when the reports don't agree about even where let alone what the discomfort is.

Posted by Mervo on (October 31, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

Another victim to too much T20 nonsense. His Test career is held up again, but you can't blame him with all the money on offer.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 31, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

LOL he may as well retire now. Or maybe just stick to short formats.

Posted by Meety on (October 31, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Man o man! When I first read it - I thought "not again!" The reality is though - he's a tall lad, not sure if they flew 1st class (should of been able to afford it after their payday last week!), but however many hours spent on the plane wouldn't be the best for anybodys back. Hopefully it is just stiff from the flight!

Posted by Marcio on (October 31, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Not surprised. Cummins' action is just too violent in my opinion. You can't bowl like that for long without getting injured. Compare his action to Starc and Hazelwood in the Syd 6s. The latter two are very smooth and economical, while Cummins launches himself into the fray like a kamakaze.

Posted by disco_bob on (October 31, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

It's not a good look seeing our developing youngsters and future hopes coming back injured from yet another dumbed down T20 league when we have the series of the year going on down under.

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (October 31, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

Recurring problem for this young lad. As a 19-year old I guess he may still be growing and thus this extensive and extended exertion upon his frame is costing. Watched all of the games the sixers played and he looked swift with the ball. A player like him will go for 35-45 runs in a t20 on an off day, but he was great more than he wasn't. Sad to see him back in the physio's office, hope he comes good soon.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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