Pat Cummins has rubbished claims he cost Cricket Australia an eight figure deal. The climate conscious captain opens up on the fallout of the sponsor storm.

The Alinta Energy affair will not stop Pat Cummins from becoming a climate change advocate – but he insists it was “absolute rubbish’’ he cost Australia an eight figure deal.

Cummins has opened up about the huge fallout of the pre-season storm which engulfed him after an interview he did with Nine was interpreted as him having a key say in the non-renewal of Australia’s $40 million sponsorship with Alinta which was ended by mutual agreement.

Of the accusation that his views triggered the demise of the deal, Cummins said: “It was complete rubbish. 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, despite having concerns over the sponsorship, answered an SOS to become an ambassador for Alinta for a third successive year during the Covid crisis as Alinta were having extreme difficulty accessing players.

But Cummins, a prime mover in the Cricket for Climate group formed to reduce the game’s carbon footprint, eventually decided not to take part in Alinta’s most recent cricket commercials and makes no apologies for continuing his quiet crusade for climate change.

He accepts he will be frequently torn down on social media as a consequence of his actions.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,’’ Cummins told News Corp.

“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.’’

Research shows Cummins’ climate-consciousness has divided the nation.

He has become a poster boy to many of his generation for sticking up for the environment but many outspoken Australians over 60 believe national cricket captaincy and climate crusades should be kept in separate lanes.

“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.’’

Cummins has been criticised for flying first class and driving an environmentally challenging car but it will not sway him from sticking to a course he believes in.

“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.’’

Originally published as Pat Cummins slams claims he lost $40 million Alinta sponsor as ‘absolute rubbish’

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